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Fozzie

Hale-Bopp Easter 1997 - What do you remember?

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Remember it very well- 20 years old and had just built my first tracking mount, so got some okay pictures for the time.

37899332816_aba09171a9_b.jpg

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I remember the night it was parallel with our house. Lowish on the horizon to the west, heading south. It's long tail was the most remarkable part.

I still have my astro mags and the Radio Times about it all. 

Edited by 25585

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What an interesting topic @Fozzie. I remember it really well. I was 5 years into this Astro lark, like you I was 17 years old, and I was trying to get my A levels so I could go off to university to do an Astronomy degree (big mistake..).  The year before we’d been spoiled by Hyakutake while we were waiting for Hale Bopp to come round. I was kind of getting used to these specatular comets just showing up every year or two!

I’d saved up to buy a used 9” Newt on a very heavy Beacon Hill eq mount. I’d just passed my driving test so I used to go up into Hamsterley Forest in Co Durham with my scope whenever I could to get some dark skies. 

On the night of March 30/31 I went there with my dad with the aim of taking some photos using the piggyback mount on my Newt. My dad held down my broken cable release for the predetermined time and I guided through the eyepiece. Very special time.

I always say that I’m purely visual, but it appears I wasn’t terrible at pics with an old Zenit SLR! Just dug this out - apparently 60s exposure at f/2.8 on Kodak Ektar 1000 taken at 22.55 UT. A week’s paper round money probably went into that film, so I’m glad it came out!!

9578E88D-42F6-47F0-ACA3-42FEFA0E87DE.thumb.jpeg.ea4bfac50832db7ea60c6fdd58cb82a8.jpeg

 

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Saw it from my parents back garden with my recently purchas d dob... detail in the coma. Also saw it naked eye from downtown Hammersmith and Hamburg.... was very bright indeed. Am I that old?!

PEterW

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7 hours ago, laser_jock99 said:

Remember it very well- 20 years old and had just built my first tracking mount, so got some okay pictures for the time.

37899332816_aba09171a9_b.jpg

There's some lovely structure in the ion tail there!

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Thanks for sharing this, what a memory.

I had been married just over a year and my Mrs was just expecting baby No.1,
which turned out to be baby No. 2 as well, we had twin girls.

It was a wondrous sight, still very much ingrained in my memory cells.
It was visible naked eye for ages, the best view I had was from Herefordshire when at relations.

The whole thing was what made me buy my first telescope.

A milestone for me on many levels.

 

Edited by Alan White
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I remember the comet and the period very well. But I was well into my astro hiatus. Already married 9 years, 6 year old son, 60+ hour weeks at the grindstone. Ye Olde Fullerscope was already mothballed.

I remember all that, but I can't remember where my photographic efforts are. I'm sure I have some colour slides from my SLR at the time and some prints from a point and shoot film camera....somewhere!

Yikes, that reminds me, it's our 30th anniversary this year (I'm sure we've got some wedding pictures somewhere too.. :) ) !

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I was 16 years old and the one moment that really stands out for me is the POLICE being called as me and a couple of friends were in the street taking a look at the comet through some binoculars and a nice neighbour had phoned the police worried that we were looking into peoples bedrooms - which we weren't - but which gave us a good idea ?

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Wow what a reminder, Thank you for putting these pictures up. I'm very emotionally attached to this comet. At the time it was very clear in the sky and I was quite a young man who had just been told his father's illness was terminal. My Dad was only in his mid 50s. I can still clearly remember going outside from Wythenshawe hospital for a break that evening and looking up at Halle Bopp. Something I did quite often for a lot of long nights. In a way it reminds me of him.

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On 06/07/2018 at 09:06, Paul M said:

I remember the comet and the period very well. But I was well into my astro hiatus. Already married 9 years, 6 year old son, 60+ hour weeks at the grindstone. Ye Olde Fullerscope was already mothballed....

 

 

Likewise here - 2 kids, hard at work and no scopes at that time :rolleyes2:

I'm sure that I saw Hale-Bopp with binoculars and maybe naked eye, but I don't particularly recall it.

Halleys Comet of just over a decade earlier I certainly do recall, even though it was a lot less spectacular than Hale-Bopp. I had a decent scope for Halleys.

The 1st comet that I observed was IRAS-Araki-Alcock in 1983. That was the closest comet to Earth in 200 years.

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Just like John I also had 2 young children, working shifts, I did have a Tasco scope at that time.

I saw Hale-Bopp with binoculars and the naked eye, I remember it being around for what seemed like ages. Even my sister was excited about it!

Halleys Comet I also certainly recall, true it was a lot less spectacular than Hale-Bopp. I had the same scope for Halley's as I had for Halle Bopp. It feels like yesterday that I was trying to find it from my bedroom window!

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There's something so evocative about film astro photography; I am really enjoying looking at these old images. I'd not been married long and was newly employed - certainly too busy for astronomy and decent telescopes were not yet within the reach of plebs like me. I remember looking out for it every night in the western sky (?), easily spotted over the houses in a seaside town we were living in at the time. It was so wonderful seeing such an unusual object in the skies and loved the double tail that was so visible.

My father always encouraged me to look up, despite not being able to afford any decent optics. That I certainly did.

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A sight to behold was Hale Bopp. A real treat and not too long after the other 
super show starring Comet Hyukutake in 1996.
A friend of mine in the Border Astronomical Society created a Booklet
with Images of the Comet, taken from various sites in the Lakeland area of Cumbria.
I wonder if there will be anything ever again, to come lose to matching those two Great Comets.

The lower Image was taken from the base of the Quarry at Caldbeck in Cumbria.

The comet was circumpolar at that time.

 

HaleBopp Booklet.jpg

Hale Bopp (2).jpg

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I always think it was Hale Bopp that hung in the sky for what seemed like months. Me and my dad outside every evening just staring. It couldn't have been Hale Bopp because my dad died in 1992. What was the other big comet before that..... Not Haley, the other one.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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20 years ago I was just starting high school and my major interest was girls! :D I remember at that point I read pretty much every astronomy book I got my hands on but was too poor (little violin playing :) ) to afford a telescope. 

Edited by emadmoussa

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1 hour ago, emadmoussa said:

20 years ago I was just starting high school and my major interest was girls! :D I remember at that point I read pretty much every astronomy book I got my hands on but was too poor (little violin playing :) ) to afford a telescope. 

I think a little money back then, had as much value as the present day has now.
It might seem as though it's a lot, but the price of things these days brings that into perspective.
Anyway, girls were far better to focus on :D.

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3 hours ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

I always think it was Hale Bopp that hung in the sky for what seemed like months. Me and my dad outside every evening just staring. It couldn't have been Hale Bopp because my dad died in 1992. What was the other big comet before that..... Not Haley, the other one.

'Halley's Comet' perhaps Paul,  In 1986.   There was another biggie though, 'Hyukutake',   but that was 1996.
Not much time difference  between it and Hale Bopp
they probably came in from the Oort Cloud,, as there trajectories were not on the ecliptic,
which is indicative of objects coming in from the Kuiper Belt.
Oort cloud visitors can be notoriously dangerous to earth, as they are usually detected at distances
which would give little time for counter measures, should they threaten earth.

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I loved it. Very lucky had a garden then in a dark site facing West and just stood and watched it.

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I remember seeing it in the night sky and saying to my self "wow". But I wasn't doing any active skygazing with a scope at the time, so that is as far as it went.

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On 08/07/2018 at 19:42, barkis said:

'Halley's Comet' perhaps Paul,  In 1986.   There was another biggie though, 'Hyukutake',   but that was 1996.
Not much time difference  between it and Hale Bopp
they probably came in from the Oort Cloud,, as there trajectories were not on the ecliptic,
which is indicative of objects coming in from the Kuiper Belt.
Oort cloud visitors can be notoriously dangerous to earth, as they are usually detected at distances
which would give little time for counter measures, should they threaten earth.

You know, maybe it was Halley (1986). I was 12 yrs old (seems the right age that i remember me and my dad outside).

Did that hang around in the sky for ages?.

 

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If my maths is correct..... I was 26 at the time. My main memory is of standing on my parents’ drive after visiting them and looking at it through binoculars. Really lovely sight with its two tails.

That was 4 years before I got my first scope, but was probably one of the things that stirred my interest properly. My Dad had a ladybird book on astronomy which I used to look at as a young child, and he had done his national service in the Navy so had some knowledge of stars from navigation I guess which he shared, but I didn’t really start any serious interest until I got my scope for my 30th birthday.

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I managed to get this image of Hale-Bopp from my light polluted back garden using a borrowed SLR and 50mm lens (models not recorded) on a static tripod with Kodak Elite 400ASA slide film. Conditions weren't great as the photo shows.

 

Hale-Bopp March 1997.jpg

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I followed Hale-Bopp as soon as it was visible  in the dawn sky early winter right through to Easter where it put on a fine show through Perseus in the evening sky,  I remember getting up really early and driving to a dark site to image it, at the time I was using a Beacon Hill camera tracker and a Olympus OM2n film camera and ektachrome 400. I found the results recently in the attic along with packs of processed images  that were light poluted and trailed. 

 

My most memorable view of a comet was Hyakutake the previous year, I was staying the night in Sourlies bothy on the Scottish west coast after a winter traverse of Muros in the area, no light polution at all and the comet was at it brightest, under clear skies i could follow the tail 2 thirds across the entire sky, it was so incredible i will never forget it.

Comet Ikea-chan? A few years later was not bad also.

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

If my maths is correct..... I was 26 at the time. My main memory is of standing on my parents’ drive after visiting them and looking at it through binoculars. Really lovely sight with its two tails.

That was 4 years before I got my first scope, but was probably one of the things that stirred my interest properly. My Dad had a ladybird book on astronomy which I used to look at as a young child, and he had done his national service in the Navy so had some knowledge of stars from navigation I guess which he shared, but I didn’t really start any serious interest until I got my scope for my 30th birthday.

I recall that Ladybird book too, particularly the drawing of the Church and the shooting stars, really fired up my interest in astronomy as a young boy.

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