Comet Observations


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.


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