Comet Hale-Bopp | Three College Observatory

Comet Hale-Bopp

March 23, 1997


This 16-second unfiltered CCD image was taken with the 0.81-meter telescope at the Three College Observatory. Comet Hale-Bopp was approaching perihelion. The image shows the faint outer “rings” — perhaps 15 or 20 of them are detectable in the original image. The central region of the comet’s coma was badly overexposed in order to detect the faint rings.

March 7, 1997


This image was taken by Mr. Kimura as Hale-Bopp approached perihelion and was visible in the early morning sky. It is a 10-minute exposure on Konica 400 film using a 400 mm f/5.6 lens. Note the broad ion tail (faint blue) and the brighter dust tail.

CCD Images of Comet Hale-Bopp, July 1996

July 11, 1996


Image of Comet Hale-Bopp as it approaches the inner solar system in summer 1996. This “false color” image depicts the brigher regions of the comet’s coma as pink/red, and the fainter portions of the coma as green or grey.

The image measures approximately 3 x 4 minutes of arc, and records stars as faint as approximately 16th magnitude. The image was taken by Dr. Steve Danford through a red filter. The image consists of two co-added 40-second images prepared and processed by UNCG undergraduate Chris Deloye.


This identical image is displayed without the use of “false colors” to enhance brightness variations, and represents a more realistic depiction of the comet’s coma as seen through a moderate-aperture telescope.