The Hall-Bopp Experience

steveberlin

Chino Hills, United States

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Artist's Description

It pays to have friends sometimes… One of my good photographer friends happens to be an astronomer, but not your typical astonomer, but one who has the house keys to a privately-owned observatory. The Ford observatory was built in the 1960s and is still privately owned and located in Wrightwood, CA.

In 1997, the Hale-Bopp comet was visible to the naked eye for months and on this weekend in April the sky was clear and we brought a friendly possy out to the observatory and learned quite a lot about taking photographs through a telescope and about comets in general.

The telescope is an 18 1/2 inch Newtonian telescope and we were looking through the slit of the dome due west as the comet blazed through the night sky. This comet was one of the most active and visible comets in history and provided us with some great views.

The normal convention for photographing a comet is to mount your camera directly onto the telescope and to use it as a film holder while the telescopic lens is used for the optics of the image. Since this comet was so bright, most of the shots we took from the mounted cameras were between 2 and 5 minutes in length.

This particular photograph was interesting as I was able to capture the dome and the comet with my friend pointing at the comet. The exposure time was about 20 secs. in length and the sky came out a bit purple with the room glowing in an eerie red/orange color.

This was truly an experince I will never forget.

Artwork Comments

  • Jonicool
  • eelsblueEllen
  • steveberlin
  • Karen Checca
  • steveberlin
  • frogster
  • steveberlin
  • Patricia Montgomery
  • steveberlin
  • Jess Fleming
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  • flyfish70
  • steveberlin
  • Luann Gingras
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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