Photographs of Comet Hale-Bopp

The two pictures below were taken on separate occasions with different cameras and setups.

Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 March, from Carrizo Canyon Overlook in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, just before a lunar eclipse. The foreground is illuminated by moonlight. The constellation Cassiopeia is clearly visible to the right of the comet. The setup was 55mm lens at f/2.4 with Kodak Royal Gold 1000 film, and the exposure of 30s was chosen to avoid significant star trailing due to the earth's rotation.

Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 early May, framed by an Ocotillo in the Dos Cabezas/Piedras region of Anza Borrego Desert. (I cheated here - the foreground was illuminated by sweeping a flashlight across it).

This time I used a fixed 50mm lens which allowed me to open up the aperture to f/1.4. Again, the exposure time was fixed at 30s to minimize trailing. The film was Kodak ISO 800; in retrospect I should have gone for ISO 1600 or faster if I wanted to record the fainter plasma tail.

© Philip Blanco