OBSERVATIONS OF COMET HALE-BOPP 1995-O1 ------------------------------------- John Pazmino NYSkies Astronomy Inc www.nyskies.org email@example.com 1997 March 11
Introduction ---------- I watched the hale-Bopp comet on and off since summer of 1996 in both evening and morning sky. On 1997 March 11 I got my first evening view of the next apparition. I then started sending letters about my observations to the various Internet newsgroups relating to astronomy, such as 'sci.astro.amateur'. The letters are collected here under their 'sent' dates with cleanup to fix erratic typing. Only the substantial letter are here. Very brief ones, usually to reply to an inquiry or add a comment to an other person's letter, are omitted.
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1997 March 11 ----------- I got my first evening view of Hale-Bopp on Monday 10 March 1996 from Bath Junction BK. This is the first success of many failed attempts for an evening sighting due to continuing cloudy weather and obscuring skyline. I did, of course, see Hale-Bopp repeatedly in the dawn both from the Winter Star Party [in Florida] and Lenox Hill MH. When I left work at 17:30ish the sky cleared up from all day clouds but there was a moist haze hanging in the air. Never the less I figured to try for Hale-Bopp anyway. I work near Herald Sq, no place at all for sighting the comet for the towers that barricade the square against the sky. So I tried a trick I use for spotting the Milky Way. One of the train routes I can take to go home runs on an el in Brooklyn. "El' is short for 'elevated [railroad]', part of the original transit network started in the 1870s. While most of the central sections were long replaced by underground lines, a fine grid of these aerial railroads fans thru the outer boros. The structure resembles an overhead highway except it's made from steel in the place of concrete. The platforms are some 7 meters off the street, about at rooftop and treetop height where the line runs thru the bedroom districts. Hence, from the platform I'm above the ground clutter of lights and obstructions. This route, the West End line, I rode home that night. Thru the windows, badly crazed plastic, I watched the sky darken. When it darkened enough to see the comet, I got off at the next station, which happened to be 62nd St in Bath Junction. It was then 18:30ish. This station is an express stop where the trains belly up to both sides of the platforms and there are no walls to block my view of the sky. I walked to the uptown end, out from under the canopies near the center of the platforms, and had a fine prospect to the north and west. There was Hale-Bopp twinkling like an other bright star far to the right of the crescent Moon. Having no optics with me I viewed only by eye. There was plainly a short brush sticking out to the right (to celestial north) of 1/2 degree length. Altho Hale-Bopp looked dimmer than Capella, it was low and probably tempered by horizon haze. After several minutes of viewing, and standing back to let trains pass thru, I boarded the next train to continue my ride home.
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1997 March 12 -------------
HALE-BOPP AND LUNAR ECLIPSE WATCHES IN NEW YORK ============================================= The following activities in New York are operated by the Amateur Astronomers Association. Correspondents on this site may drop in at any of these activities, shake hands, and enjoy the stars with us. For details and membership information, contact the Association at 1010 Park Avenue, New York NY 10028; 212-LE5-2922. You can also reach us thru our new email firstname.lastname@example.org or at our website www.aaa.org. Please give your snailmail address so we can send you our litterature.
VIEWINGS OF COMET HALE-BOPP ------------------------- Fri - 14 Mar - 18:30 = Floyd Bennett Field - BK - Clearsky star viewing from the Observatory site. Enter Field at apex of tollfan on Flatbush Av. Fri - 28 Mar - 18:30 - Great Kills Pk - SI - Clearsky viewing of Comet Hale-Bopp and other spring features from the Model Flying Field off of Hylan Bv. Sat - 29 Mar - 19:00 - Central Park - MH - Clearsky viewing of Comet Hale-Bopp and other spring features from Fifth Av side of Sheep Meadow. Enter via Tavern-on-the-Green carpark. Sat - 5 Apr - 18:30 - Great Kills Pk - SI - Clearsky viewing of Comet Hale-Bopp and other spring features from the Model Flying Field off of Hylan Bv.
VIEWING OF THE LUNAR ECLIPSE -------------------------- Sun - 23 Mar - 21:00 - Central Park - MH - Clearsky viewing of the lunar eclipse and other spring features from Sheep Meadow.
The Central Park events on the 23rd and 29th are in Sheep Meadow, the large grassy field near the south end of the Park. From the south enter the Park at Columbus Circle or 7th Av and walk along the outer road clockwise to Tavern-on-the-Green. Then turn inward into Sheep Meadow. From the west enter thru the carpark of Tavern- on-the-Green. Walk all the way thru the carpark to the Park's outer road. Continue across the road into Sheep Meadow. Despite the March season, do bring a extra sweater or jacket. This applies more strongly for Floyd Bennett FIeld and Great Kills Park. They are located in flat open regions near the water. Expect quite chilly weather even if it be warm in the City by day. Bring also binoculars and a lawnchair or blanket. You may picnic during the viewing; do be sure to remove all litter and rubbish afterwards. The Association has telescopes at each event for closeup views of the eclipse and the comet, as well as litterature. ---
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1997 March 16 ----------- I studied Hale-Bopp tonight, Sunday 16 March 1997, from 18:30 to 19:30 from my house in Gelfand's Hill, Brooklyn. Starting at 18:15 I scanned the northwest sky from my stoop. I stayed on the stoop so the house shielded me from direct light from nearby lamppoles. By 18:30 I spotted it among tree branches and followed it until 19:30 when it sank behind houses across the street. The sky was clear, chilly, and breezy. The twilight was a rich smooth deepening blue and stars popped out one by one. The Moon was near the meridian but did not interfere with the Comet. Allowing for the Moon the transparency was by full nightfall 4 to 4-1/2 magnitude. This was a textbook good night in Brooklyn. Recall that I'm viewing from a neighborhood almost the size of Toronto or Chicago, for those who from suburbs report tails of many many degrees. At first I saw by eye a bright star, well superior in brilliance over Capella. I tried a match with Sirius but I have to concede it is not yet its equal. After a moment of dark adaption, not very deep, I could trace the tail for about 1 degree to the right. 7x35 binoculars revealed a tail fully four degrees long, gushing out from the upper side of the head! Altho over the minutes the sky darkened, this four degrees remained the fullest length of tail I ever could see. I figured that being confined to my stoop restricted me to binoculars. Then I hazarded to go and try a telescopic look anyway. Of the many scopes I have I picked the Questar field model. This is the tube & optics part of the regular Questar with a tripod socket on the base. This I screwed to a heavy camera tripod and set out the legs to fit the stoop. I chose the Questar for the exquisite contrast of image, speed and simply of setting up, and the builtin permanently aligned finder. Thru the scope the comet was stunning and gorgeous. This happened to be my first telescopic view of Hale-Bopp in the evening. I saw it telescopicly in the morning many time from the Winter Star Party and Lenox Hill, Manhattan. I stayed with 40x and only occasionally went to 80x by flipping in the little builtin Barlow. The lower power showed everything and the Comet drifted much slower from the field. I have no tracking on the tripod; I just nudge the scope to keep the object centered. The activity was almost all on the upper side of the head with a dark vacant lacuna on the lower right side. There were a couple hoods, or shockwaves or fountains, shooting out from the head. Their outer ends swept back into the tail. The tail in the scope reached out one degree. I watched on and off and also called my father out to inspect it. He's not into astronomy but he does want to see the special things going on in the sky. He, for instance, likes lunar eclipses and he did see comet Hyakutake. He, too, saw the fountain effect around the head. After the Comet slid behind houses I spent a few minutes looking at the Moon. For this I moved the scope off of the stoop to the front walkway. Then I called it a night.
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1997 March 23 ----------- I studied Hale-Bopp tonight, Sunday 23 March 197, from my house in Gelfand's Hill, Brooklyn. I started looking at 18:20 but twilight was still a bit too strong. I first spotted Hale-Bopp by eye at 18:45 skirting the tops of trees across the street. The trees are still defoliate from the winter, so I wasn't worried about losing the comet within them. The air was chilly, about 5C, with a buffeting breezes. The sky Transparency, despite the rising Full Moon was 4th magnitude. Twilight was a rich blue smoothly graduated from horizon to dark sky overhead. By eye the tail reached out almost 2 degrees. This was from an open spot on the sidewalk away from trees with ambient light on me. When I first caught it at 18:45, it was merely a bright star; The tail emerged from deepening twilight in a few minutes. Thru binoculars the tail streamed out seven degrees! This is a little more than the 6-1/2 field of the 7X35 binoculars. I used an old old trick. I jiggled the binoculars. This trick brings out faint parts of nebulae, for instance, which escape notice under a steady gaze. I again chose the Questar for telescopic inspection of the comet. The Questar has superb contrast, besides being compact and quick to set up. From the time I went to my room on the second floor to retrieve the instrument to that when I get first light thru it was all of five minutes. The entire ensemble fits quite neatly on my stoop out of direct streetlight and sheltered from chilly breeze. The comet was more symmetrical than last week, with some bias along the lower edge. Last week I noted the activity on the UPPER edge, but this referred to the view in the telescope, which is flipped relative to the eye or binocular view. In the scope, my Questar field model, I traced the tail to two degrees. The intervening branches actually helped to follow the tail by providing dark bars for contrast. The structure in the tail and head were just too much to sketch confidently. In general the tail had several shafts arrayed in a 15 degree wedge angle from the head. But outside of that central core was a diffuse but plainly evident fan of about 70 or 80 degree wedge angle. From about 3/4 degree out from the head to the farther tip of the tail there was a darker central rift. The whole effect certainly suggested a bulk rotation of the head in the week since my last telescope view. My father stepped out and examined the comet. He recognized the changes in aspect since last week, but believed the overall aspect was more fuzzy. Perhaps this is due to Hale-Bopp being just past perigee about 198 million kilometers away. What seemed sharp-edged a week ago is now closer and the diffusion shows up. By 20:00 the comet sank into thick air over the houses and I took a rest. After all there was that lunar eclipse later in the night!
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1997 March 23 ----------- Yep! Your message came thru loud and clear! I captured it and I'll repost it in the astronomy rooms for you. I saw H-B last night (Sat 22 Mar) in mid twilight from West Broadway and Broome St after leaving SoHo Books. Just a bright star with no structure 'coz I was stuck in daylight vision. No dark adaption possible from the street. For your reference, the astronomy rooms on Moondog are #47, 422, 711 (actually 'Space' but lots of astrostuff), 1101, 1102 ('Planetarium' but with astrostuff), 1129, 1431, and 2190. Check them out by doing 'j 47', 'j 1101', &c. Or make sure these are scanned into your mail packet.
--- Lo here the original message --- Date: 03-22-97 (20:33) Number: 976 of 988 (Refer# NONE) To: ALL From: EILEEN THOMAS Subj: Hale-Bopp Read: (N/A) Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Conf: Main Board (0) Read Type: GENERAL (-) HAS REPLIES
I'm new here, so hello! Just was looking at comet from my attic with . . .
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1997 April 2 ----------
HALE-BOPP 29 MARCH 1997 (NEVER GIVE UP) ------------------------------------- I went to the comet viewing session in Central Park, Manhattan, on Saturday 29 March 1997. And, yes, I did see Hale-Bopp. Now, read that again carefully. No, it does NOT say I saw the comet from the Park. OK, what happened? The day on Saturday the 29th of March was cloudy and it started to rain in the mid afternoon. The Amateur Astronomers Association scheduled one of its several comet sessions for the evening, starting at sundown, in Sheep Meadow of Central Park. The session was called off. However, I had an idea. In New York an afternoon thunder storm commonly ends at sundown and the clouds dissipate by nightfall. Thus, even tho I would have no company in the Park, I may get a good view of Hale-Bopp! So my father gave me a ride to the Brighton Beach subway under a summer-like thunder-&-lightning storm. The Brighton Beach route goes straight to Columbus Circle, an entry into the Park, with a one-seat ride. The train crosses from Brooklyn into Manhattan on Manhattan Bridge. From the train I had a full panorama of the City. Yep, the storm was still in force with clouds hovering 150 meters or so off the ground. How can one tell? Rain clouds are featureless gray blankets with nothing to gage their elevation. Ah!, in New York, we got cloud gages. The skyscrapers are so tall that when the clouds lower in storms they cover the upper floors! Truly from this phaenomenon the term 'skyscraper' comes. So on this day the clouds came down to about the 150m 'mark' on the 'rulers'. At Columbus Circle I exited to the street and, lo!, the rain eased up to an annoying pitter-patter. The sky was definitely brightening in the west, tho it was still thickly overcast. I walked over to Sheep Meadow, the actual site of the comet viewing. All its gates were locked; the session was cancelled. Over the chest-high chainlink fence I saw no one at all in the field. By now, quite 18:00, the rain tapered to a splashing drizzle. Oh, what the hell. I walked along the park paths keeping Sheep Meadow on my right with the old 'hand on the wall' technique. No one around but a few joggers and dogwalkers. I never suffered wetting from the direct rain. I had a hooded jacket and a wool knit hat. What did discomfort me were the puddles along the paths. I stepped into several, some reaching over my shoes. Stomping the feet did shake off the bulk of the water before it soaked into the socks. The rain continued to ebb and the clouds gradually thinned. The clouds lifted off of the towers, exposing their entire statures. Far too slowly. At this rate the sky would clear well after 20:00, when Hale-Bopp is behind the skyline. The whole point of using Sheep Meadow is that, as an open grassy field a ha-klick across, we would have stationed at the east end to get a low skyline to the west. By the time I reached the east side of Sheep Meadow it was obvious that the clouds would linger thru late twilight to prevent any view of the comet. I went home. Being now over a half kilometer from Columbus Circle I did not walk back there for my train. At the southeast corner of the Park is an other station, Fifth Avenue, that has trains that connect to mine. If your memories of our transit system linger from the American Bicentennial or the Ellis Island or Brooklyn Bridge celebrations, they are utterly ediurnate. This Fifth Avenue station, along with scores of others, is under gut rebuilding into really beautiful places. Without going into the details, the station looks like it was constructed from scratch only this year, altho it was in continuous service since World War One. And it keeps the arts-&-crafts mosaic tiles that are so legendary in New York's subways. Again, after changing to the Brighton Beach train, I crossed Manhattan [Bridge] on the way to Brooklyn. The sky was actually blue with twilight, but still shielded with clouds. The rain was completely stopped. By the time I got home, in the Gelfand's Hill section of Brooklyn, the clouds were shredding apart. It was 19:30. I watched the northwest sky from my stoop. No comet. The sky was gauzed over in its blue spots. Yet it was possibly going to clear up in time to spot Hale- Bopp. Maybe. I looked again at 19:45. Still thin clouds blocked the comet. Would I lose the sighting for tonight? I can take that fate, given the erratic weather we get in the City. I checked at 20:00. Bingo! The comet peeped thru the clouds! OK, I could see just the head as a regular 'star'. Any tail was mixed in the residual cloud shreds and gauze. In binoculars the head had a close- hugging haze around it, but no good structure. So!, I did see Hale-Bopp and followed it for an other twenty minutes until it slid behind houses for the night. I can hardly urge anyone to be as silly as I was that Saturday, but it goes to show that one can never give up on seeing this comet.
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1997 April 3 ----------
* * B U L L E T I N * * ===================== DUE TO PUBLIC DEMAND THERE IS AN OTHER CENTRAL PARK SESSION FOR THE HALE-BOPP COMET ON SATURDAY 5 APRIL 1997! SESSION CONVENES IN THE EAST (FIFTH AVENUE) SIDE OF SHEEP MEADOW AT SUNDOWN, CLEAR WEATHER PERMITTING. THIS IS AN EXTRA SESSION ANNOUNCED ON WEDNESDAY 2 APRIL. ------------------------------------------------------------------ The Amateur Astronomers Association, NYC Parks Dept, and the new Hayden Planetarium present an extra public viewing session for the Hale-Bopp comet. This makes up for the session on 29 March 1997 which was rained out. There was originally no raindate for that session but all three parties were inundated by public outcry for a makeup session. So!, clear weather permitting -- you should see the Sun set with at worst scattered clouds -- we convene in Sheep Meadow of Central Park on Saturday 5 April 1997. Starting at sundown we'll demonstrate the Hale-Bopp comet as it emerges from the evening twilight. We also will show Mars and other spring sky wonders. To get as low a skyline obstruction as possible, not easy to obtain in Manhattan!, we set up at the east side of the field, the side nearest to Fifth Avenue. Altho this is a major unanticipated task for the profession in the City we are intensely proud to take it on. In the last several weeks the public interest in the hale-Bopp comet rose to an incandescent fervor. This is fanned by the recent cult tragedy and fueled by the comet's brilliant spectacle over the City. From casual surveys among our neighbors and friends, about 2/3 of the populance in this planetary capital have seen the comet and are following the news about it. Sheep Meadow is in the southern part of the Park and easiest to enter from its west side. Walk into the carpark of Tavern-on-the-Green from Central PArk West (8th Avenue) at 68th Street. Go all the way thru this carpark straight to a rear exit inside the Park. Cross the perimeter road. Sheep Meadow is directly across the perimeter road in front of you. Nearest trains are at Columbus Circle (blue, orange, red lines), Lincoln Center (red), and Carnegie Hall (yellow). Buses run in Central Park South/59th Street, Central Park West/8th Avenue, Broadway, 66th/67th Street, and 9th/Columbus Avenue. Bring binoculars, a lawnchair or blanket, packed supper, and an extra sweater or jacket for possible residual chill in the air.
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1997 April 3 ----------- I, with several Association members and our lecturer, admired Hale-Bopp on Wednesday 2 April 1997 at about 19:20, before the monthly lecture of the Amateur Astronomers Association in New York. The group was Arline Caldwell, Lynn Darsh, Rik Davis, Jack Dittrick, David Greenberg, Jerome Holzman, and lecturer Dr Carlton Pryor of Rutgers University. We just left Isabella's restaurant, 77th Street and Columbus Avenue, following a prelecture dinner. This is across the street from the southwest corner of the American Museum of Natural History, where the lecture was presented. There in the windy but clear air was the comet. It was about 10 or 15 degrees right of the centerline of 77th Street. Its aspect differed among us. I and two others saw by eye only the head as a brilliant twinkling star. Others noted a distinct tail of two or three degree length. Eyesight and the incidence of local streetlight on our faces caused the variety of appearance. I had with me a small monocular of mediocre quality. It's an old model that cost $10 in the early 1970s. It's palmsize so I carry it with me in my shoulder bag pretty much all the time. With this I traced a three degree tail and saw jets spurting from the head. Being in the street amidst lights shining on my face and hustled along to the lecture I didn't get a considered view. It was exciting anyway and the others had a look thru the instrument, too. We stopped repeatedly on the way to the entrance to the Museum to study Hale-Bopp. Passersby joined us along the way. I guesstimate that 2/3 of all who stopped to see Hale-Bopp already saw the comet before and were generally up on its news. When we got to the lecture hall we were set upon by a score of our members. They told us of their own sightings only minutes before, while they were coming to the Museum! For some this evening was the first view they had of it. Their descriptions, all based on naked eye observations, fell within the range of our experience.
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1997 April 19 ----------- I examined Hale-Bopp on Friday 11 April 1997 from my house in Gelfand's Hill, Brooklyn. I went out at 20:15 Eastern Daylight Savings Time with the comet already in plain view over the trees and houses across the street. The air was cool, I needed a jacket, about 10C, but calm. The sky was clear with a crescent Moon. However, the horizon zone, with the comet, was hazed over. Given the Moon and haze the transparency was only 3rd magnitude. By eye Hale-Bopp was a bright star with no obvious tail. With some study I picked out a 1 to 1-1/2 degree tail on the upper right. On magnitude it was still -1/2 altho I think it may have begun its slow decline due to increasing distance from Sun and Earth. Nearby stars were themselves in haze, making the assessment uncertain. Yet, to shine so vividly thru the haze the comet had to still be bright. Thru 7x35 binoculars I saw only a three degree tail; it just could not extend more than about 1/2 of the binocular field. It was quite smooth and full and symmetrical. The one edge was a little brighter than the other side. The head was definitely not stellar; it was a tiny ball or dot. In my Questar, which I have been leaving assembled in my room, the tail was generally parabolic and even all over. There was only a minor darkening along its axis, not a shadow, but just a little less bright. The head had a curious aspect. There was a dark section on the leeward (relative to the Sun) side. It gave the impression, in the lowest power, 40, in the telescope, of a planet in its gibbous phase! The head was about the same brightness all over with a modest brightening on the windward side. The tail flowed out of this head evenly on both sides. It looked so much like an atmosphere around the head rather than an emission or issuance from it. It reached about 1 to 1-1/2 degrees in the scope, essentially the same as the naked eye extent. There was tonight only a mild brush stroke texture. Probably from the haze I didn't notice any stars in or near the comet. All color was gone! The comet was all white & gray. And it reverted to its 'postcard' guise. One the last two times Hale-Bopp actually looked like it was erupting before my eyes. Now it settled back into its static mode. Despite this diminished aspect compared to earlier this week, the sight was still quite magnificent. By 21:00 EDST the comet was too heavily obscured by haze for further inspection and I closed up my tripod for the night.
= = = = = 1997 May 7 -------- I had a good inspection of Hale-Bopp on Tuesday 6 May 1997 from Gelfand's Hill, my Brooklyn residence. I went out at 20:20 Eastern Daylight Savings Time, but did not spot Hale-Bopp until 20:50. This was because twilight now lasts late into the evening. When I first saw it, thru binoculars, it was only 15 degrees up in horizon haze. The sky was amazingly clear and clean, it having become so barely a half hour before sunset. The full night transparency, at 22:00 EDST, was around 4-1/2. The air was 10C to 15C -- I needed a thin jacket -- with a gentle breeze. This day did not in the least offer any chance to see the comet! During the day a fierce windstorm sprang up and afflicted parts of the City with tornado-like damage. Mostly Staten Island was lashed by the storm. The other boros suffered a noontime squall that sent everyone scurrying indoors during lunch. Altho the tempest passed quickly and the Sun came out, the afternoon was humid and hazy. When I left work for home the sky was crazed with gauzey clouds thru which no decent comet view could be captured. But as dusk set in I saw the cloud dissolve away, the air dried up, and the sky threw out deep red-blue tints in the sunset zone. Hey!, maybe I'll get one of my last evening looks at Hale-Bopp? And so I did pick up the comet in the deepening twilight. But it was already dancing over the rooftops, just missing a newly foliated tree! I could hardly see it by eye; I kept losing it if my eye wandered off of it. Being that I could not see Betelgeuse almost due west at about the same altitude, I say Hale-Bopp was still a mean hombre of a comet of magnitude zero. I couldn't definitely see any tail. The whole thing looked like a bright smudge with a brighter lower tip, sort of like an exaggerated nebula in a telescope. In binoculars it was a regulation comet. The head was pretty starlike, possibly a dot. It was a close call tonight. The tail issued from the left side of the head and reached up and a bit to the left, say 75 degrees from the left horizontal. I traced it to three degrees, which really surprised me on account of the low altitude and residual moisture. And this tail was broad and thick and fluffy! I took a flock of pictures right away before hale-Bopp sank too low. The first set I believe missed the comet for it may have dipped behind a tree. I, to be safe, took a second set from an alley next to my house. From there Hale-Bopp was certainly in the clear but now it teased a rooftop. Telescopicly the comet, except for overall brilliance, was still an active mother. I continued using my Questar, which I left set up from previous Hale-Bopp sightings. The head was a planetary ball, not a stellar point. The left side of the head had all the action with streams of tail gushing out. The center of light extended from the head itself, along streamlines of the issuing material, into the tail. It was about 1/2 degree long. This explains the smudge I saw by eye. The right side of the head was quiet. Only thin shoots of tail came out there. This right side was much flatter and sharper than the left. Yet the entire parabolic envelope was quite obvious. The left half was filled with bright material and had brush stroke texture and the right was a thin weakly shining glow. The parabolic angle was about 60 degrees, definitely wider than that of 26th April. Tonight the tail was unbalanced. The tail flowed out of the head and pretty much stayed along the left side of the axis. Only after two degrees out from the head -- almost the outer limit of the tail in the scope -- did the tail distribute itself into a symmetrical whole. This long tail length, given the atmospheric impediment, was achieved at the end of my viewing session. When the head sank behind the rooftop the tail stood out much more plainly. I watched as it, too, sank out of sight. I counted off two whole degrees of it before nothing but plain sky was left. And at this moment, 21:15 EDST, observing terminated. I am extremely grateful I got this view tonight. I fear that this here week will be the final evening opportunity for the comet. Oh, of course, I'll catch it again in the autumn morning as a binocular comet. I did get a fleeting look at the comet from home on Sunday the 4th of May. Clouds hovered in the west and northwest, blocking all clear view. At one instant Hale-Bopp shone thru a gap for several seconds, then it was gobbled up for the rest of the night. In binoculars -- I never caught by eye then -- it was a lucid point with a fanned tail. That chilled my heart. Would that be my last Hale-Bopp session? In particular, I really look forward to the array in the evening of Thursday the 8th of May. Then the Hyades, crescent Moon, and Hale- Bopp stack up above the sunset point! From my experience tonight -- and assuming a clear dry sky on the 8th! -- the Hyades are good and lost in twilight. But the Moon and Hale-Bopp will be quite a sight!
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