Great Comets of the 1990s

The small photos of Comet Hyakutake and Comet Hale-Bopp in the initial color astrophoto montage do not do them justice. Here they have been reprocessed for a larger display. The photo of Comet Hyakutake (left) was taken in March 1996, on the night of its closest approach to earth. That night it was a brilliant fuzzball with a delicate tail that stretched for 70 degrees across the sky (even in Princeton). This image was an 8-minute exposure on Fuji Super G 800 using a 180 mm f/2.8 Nikon lens.

Comet Hale-Bopp (right) was more conventional in appearance. It was a much larger comet than Hyakutake, but, because it did not pass near the earth, it did not have so great an apparent size. This image was a 6-minute exposure on Fuji Super G 800 using a 500 mm f/4 Nikon lens.