Comet Hyakutake 1996 B2

These pictures were taken by Len Wayne and Philip Blanco on 1996 March 25 UT, using a 50mm lens and ISO1600 print film exposed for 2-3 minutes. Select any image for a larger (JPEG) version.

Comet Hyakutake appears above the treetops from the parking lot of Mt. Laguna Observatory (Morris Ranch Road). Stars and the comet are slightly trailed around the north celestial pole in these exposures.

Taken ~45 minutes later, now with the camera riding ``piggy-back'' on the sidereally driven equatorial mount of the Mt. Laguna 21-inch telescope (it can be seen that the comet has moved slightly relative to the background stars between this and the previous picture). The diffuse glow from bottom left is scattered moonlight. A close-up from the same picture shows the comets head as it passes close in the sky to a bright star.

...And for comparison, here is a sub-second exposure of the half-moon at the same scale as the pictures above (the moon is about 1/2 degree in diameter).

For better pictures of the comet and additional information, start with the NASA/JPL Comet Hyakutake page

© Philip Blanco and Len Wayne 1996