On March 25-26 1996, Dan MacIntosh, Andy Nelson and I drove 30 miles north of Tucson to dark skies to photograph Comet Hyakutake. We piggy-backed Andy's 50 mm camera to Dan's clock-drive equipped Celestron 8" S-C telescope.
The comet was impressive -- with a diffuse tail so widespread (~60 degrees!), we couldn't fit it in a single camera field-of-view! From our longest guided exposures (9 minutes on the coma, 12 minutes on the tail), digitized images were generated and carefully integrated into a single image. Film was slow 100 ASA, stop set to F/2.8. The C8 did an impressive job of guiding!
These images are best viewed in 32000 colors (16-bit) or better! If you are viewing on a 256 color display, you may want to download the images if you want to keep them (Netscape's internal dithering kinda sucks...).
lower resolution, whole comet
(560x340x24-bit pixels, 80 KB)
high resolution, whole comet
(1120x660x24-bit pixels, 260 KB)
high resolution, coma only
(435x345 pixels, 10 KB)
visitors since March 30, 1996.Craig Kulesa