Comets can be fascinating
spectacles in the night sky. They can also lead to bitter disappointment.
I remember may years ago looking for both Comet Kohoutek, and
Kobayashi-Berger-Milon I think. It's a long time ago. Both were
mere fuzzy blobs in the 70's. Not to worry I thought Halleys Comet
is back in 1986, at least I will be able to see that!
What a dismal failure
that was. Struggling as I peered through the heavily moonlit sky
with an old 60mm refractor which I had bought cheap from a junk
store in Banbury for £30. I managed to find the fuzzy blob,
and was well disappointed.
Many years later I
was however pleased to see Comet Hale - Bopp, and Hyakataki. The
latter witnessed from over the rim of the Grand Canyon - what
a site! It had a tail many times longer than was visible from
back home. Walking down to the bar across the camp site with the
comet pointing downwards in front of you will certainly stick
in my mind.
Of course then came
Comet Hale Bopp, this was a real winner. I was just getting back
into astronomy, and I tried some static shots of the comet.
This was one of my
first astro photographs as I got back into the hobby. It's a static
shot - obviously, but does show the two tails. I know it's not
the greatest of shots, but it's a nice reminder of a great comet.
I got quite used to seeing it in the night sky on the way home
from work. The film was Fuji 400, but I am afraid I have no other
details at hand.
In April 2002 were
treated to the arrival of comet Ikeya Zang. This also tied in
nicely with a weekend trip to Thetford. I took along a Stellacam
video camera, and video walkman to see if I could capture this
binocular object. Here is the fuzzy blob image I acquired. More
details on the video page.
I know it is not over
clear, but it is there, and yes it is the brightest object in
the field of view.