The jets of Comet Hale-Bopp

April 5, 1997

This 10sec exposure of comet Hale-Bopp was obtained by Bill Vacca using the 2.2m telescope of the University of Hawaii telescope at Mauna Kea, through a filter centered on the emission line of the CN molecule, in the near Ultra-Violet.

The field of view of this image is 1.5 arcminute in diameter, 1/20th of the apparent diameter of the moon; it shows only a very small section of the comet which extends on many degrees (North is up, and East is to the left). The image has been processed to correct the sensitivity variations of the CCD detector (this steps are described in another document), then has been enhanced to make the jet structure more visible (a mean radial profile has been partially subtracted). The seeing (degradation of the image quality by the turbulence) was quite high.

If you want to observe Hale-Bopp yourself (you should, it is beautiful), maps and ephemerides are available on this site.

© 1997 IfA / UH
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Olivier Hainaut

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