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Fozzie

Hale-Bopp Easter 1997 - What do you remember?

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Afternoon,

I recently came across a photo taken in the Easter of 1997 of Hale-Bopp passing over an Easter cross that is annually placed on top of Otley Chevin.  The photo had been posted on the community social media page, and just simply asked, "who remembers this?"

Now back in 1997 I was 17 years old, about to go to sit my mid terms AS levels and seriously interested in football.  Astronomy wasn't on my to do list, I'd never looked through a scope or binoculars at the stars, however I did, thanks to various TV programmes, have a fascination with space, universe, Klingons, Cylons and Captain Kirk.

I remember numerous occasions of my dad pointing out mars and Jupiter to the naked eye, when I was even younger, I remember seeing shooting stars and a host of other goodies, but I have absolutely no memory of this event, even at 17 years old, I must have somehow missed it.. and I can't even blame it on being distracted by anything... not even girls!

So I thought I'd ask, what do you remember of this event or galactic showpiece?

here's the photo that prompted me to ask BTW

halebopp.thumb.jpg.82a60428452d3e252b61b1a53b8b95b2.jpg

Be interested to here your memories, might help my amnesia because I can't possibly have missed it... can I?

Ta

Fozzie

Edited by Fozzie
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I was in my mid 20's and had been interested in the stars for as long as I can remember. My scope at the time was a small Tasco 60mm frac, terrible but I loved it (and still do). Hale-Bopp was a timely follow up after the excitement of Hyakutake the year or so before. I had an SLR and an interest in photography too but my astrophoto skills were modest as illustrated below. I remember being able to follow this comet for months in the run-up to it being at it's best and I came to know the region around Scutum / Sagitarius very well.

HaleBopp1.jpg.758ce59d800eb95daf6d0c06fe989aac.jpg

HaleBopp3.thumb.jpg.dd0760ec22baadcc7e061a0e8f80a416.jpg

 

 

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I vaguely recall Hale-Bopp, being 34 at the time, and found it interesting but didn't do anything more about it. In contrast to the Total Solar Eclipse of August 1999, for which I took a day off work and drove from London to Falmouth-ish, arriving at a map-selected random field around 0330 in absolutely pitch darkness, so dark I fell into a bush going for a pee a little later. When dawn came up the area was full of like-minded cars.

But sorry, not Hale-Bopp, I wish I had now.

Magnus

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I was very wet behind the ears at that time and was my first comet to ever see . I had my Bushnell 5” newt , but mostly i just used my 10x50 binocs . Just getting started i had no equipment other than binocs and my newt but no camera equipment :( , and the event was over before i knew it . But I’ll never forget that time ! By the time i ordered and got my C8 it was gone plus the first two weeks having my scope was solid cloud cover :( .

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Remember it well shining away overhead for what seemed like weeks, got some colour slides of it somewhere.

Dave

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I recall a work colleague who rounded up people in her street to look at it. When she described it to me she had obviously been pointing out Venus!

Regards Andrew 

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Used to remember it sitting there on the right as I walked to the PUB.
I assume it was STILL there (on the left) as I walked home again... ?

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I remember it well

This is a scan of a print of a slide, so much detail is lost

hbop1.jpg

And one of the nucleus with EP projection through my C8

hbop2.jpg

Note the curious bow-wave effect

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2 hours ago, Peter Drew said:

I had an enormous Easter egg.  ?

I remember those, chocolate as thick as a wrecking ball so you had to use the door frame to crack them open.  things were proper back then.

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Some great photo's here, I just don't know why I don't have any recollection of this..

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I remember this fabulous comet very well. I took the 6” Dob I had at the time to a dark site near Wallasea Island on the River Crouch in Essex.  Multiple “hoods” could be easily seen in the coma, a truly wondrous sight.

So many comets turn out to be a disappointment, this one was emphatically not.......?

Ed.

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I remember it very well, being -4 yrs old at the time! :D :D :D 

I wish we could have another comet like that...….I found my old observing diary entry for Comet Lovejoy, though, which I'd forgotten about. It was about mag 5.5 I think.

John

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I have fond memories too. Fabulous comet indeed.

 

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I remember getting a first image of Hale Bopp around August 1996, when it was down in the Milky Way (imaged M16 the same evening IIRC) - it was a very easy target despite being quite low. I managed to get an early morning image in probably late Feb 1997, which I got published in the Croydon Advertiser. I have the slides somewhere tucked away in a box - lots of them through the whole apparition...

The actual time around perihelion I recall it being very bright for weeks and weeks on end with both dust and ion tail clearly visible to the naked eye - it slowly moved further towards the north west in the evening. Close ups during the time showed some super structure around the coma indicative of rotation of the nucleus - I'm sure I made a gif of the shells moving over time as well.

It was a good time for comets - Hyakutake was spectacular in April 1996 passing right next to the pole with a *huge* tail visible from suburban locations.

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I remember being able to see it in my rear view mirror driving home from work. Never quite got round to photographing it ?

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Maybe one of the very few comets of the technological era that was bright enough to "photobomb" even casual photographs.

Even I managed an image or two!

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Ah, the good old days of film cameras...

1551471330_Hale-Bopp1011024.thumb.jpg.772a83ce4efe8f7697d1ad7d88e19c18.jpg

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I remember this well as it was the thing that got me back into Astronomy after a 25 year absence.  I read about it in the papers and found out how to locate it and seem to recall it was in Cassiopeia at the time and I had to learn to recognise Cassiopeia so I was getting star maps from the library.  Finally I saw it in my binoculars from my back garden in SE London, so I was then tearing around the district trying to find a darker location to see it.  I think Biggin Hill was where I ended up. 

Great comet, they all seem so small after that one. 

Then followed the solar eclipse in 1999 and the transit of Venus a few years later, and slowly I started visiting Greenwich Observatory on a regular basis and got back into it in a big way.

Carole 

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My lasting memory of Hale-Bopp was in Scotland late March, Easter period. I recall it blazing in the sky from our view point in the car on the A9 road heading north towards Loch Rannoch. Me and my then girlfriend backpacked from Rannoch Station to camp by a bothy, Ben Alder Cottage, night fall and snowy conditions, the comet was a lingering spectacle. The following day I had climbed Ben Alder in full winter conditions. Hale Bopp was very prominent under those dark skies. 

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I remember spending night after night watching it through 10 x 50s.

Beautiful spectacle, white and green tail streams I recall. 

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Ahhh, fond memories of the great Hale-Bopp! It was hot on the heels of the unexpectedly bright Hyakutake from 1996. I remember being amazed that I could "see" a comet with my eyes alone, and how big and bright it was despite its distance. I wasn't really into AP at the time, but I did shoot some video of Hale-Bopp with my VHS camcorder (I'll have to dig that old footage up). After the disappointing apparition of Halley a decade earlier, Hale-Bopp was a welcomed treat. It became "everyman's comet" that anybody could see and without a telescope or binoculars.

 

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It was a truly memorable sight, just seemed to hang in the northwest sky for so long that one took it for granted eventually. What a shame it never approached within 120 million miles of the Earth, if it had been as close as Hyakutake we would have been talking about the most memorable event in the recorded history of astronomy!!

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I remember it well, but it was overshadowed on the news by a group of cult members wearing new clothes and trainers that committed suicide; idiots.

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On 04/07/2018 at 13:19, Fozzie said:

Afternoon,

I recently came across a photo taken in the Easter of 1997 of Hale-Bopp passing over an Easter cross that is annually placed on top of Otley Chevin.  The photo had been posted on the community social media page, and just simply asked, "who remembers this?"

Now back in 1997 I was 17 years old, about to go to sit my mid terms AS levels and seriously interested in football.  Astronomy wasn't on my to do list, I'd never looked through a scope or binoculars at the stars, however I did, thanks to various TV programmes, have a fascination with space, universe, Klingons, Cylons and Captain Kirk.

I remember numerous occasions of my dad pointing out mars and Jupiter to the naked eye, when I was even younger, I remember seeing shooting stars and a host of other goodies, but I have absolutely no memory of this event, even at 17 years old, I must have somehow missed it.. and I can't even blame it on being distracted by anything... not even girls!

So I thought I'd ask, what do you remember of this event or galactic showpiece?

here's the photo that prompted me to ask BTW

halebopp.thumb.jpg.82a60428452d3e252b61b1a53b8b95b2.jpg

Be interested to here your memories, might help my amnesia because I can't possibly have missed it... can I?

Ta

Fozzie

Fozzie

It's kind of funny you bring this up.  I was chatting to my brother in law recently and we were chatting about Hale-Bopp.  I have ZERO recollection of it. Not a thing.  And I was interested in science like yourself.  And I was 17 in 1997.

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