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This is a picture of comet Hale-Bopp, undoubtedly the most photographed comet in history. This is about a 15 minute exposure with my Nikon 8008s w/50mm lens. It clearly shows 2 tails-the blue ion tail and the yellow-white dust tail. The Perseus double cluster is visible just upper left of center. The camera was piggybacked on my telescope and due to the fixed mount and the need to have the scope accurately polar aligned, the horizon is tilted. I don't find the effect all that unpleasant, but I will probably get a sturdy swivel head in the future.

The white lines at the bottom are the headlights of passing cars. It took me a while to figure out what the 2 vertical lines were. I figured they were telephone poles, but there was only one there. It finally dawned on me that it was the same pole lit up by 2 different cars about 10 minutes apart-the different locations due to the scope's tracking. There is also a faint line going almost horizontally through the picture. This was a plane flying through. There's a LOT of air traffic out there. I try to cover the lens (without touching it) whenever a plane flies through, but I couldn't get them all.

This was taken from a very dark location in Cummington, Ma.


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michael regish
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