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Subject: Re: OBS Hale-Bopp 5/15/96 0700 GMT
From: (David James Riddell)
Date: 19 May 1996

In article (Todd Gross) writes:
>From: (Todd Gross)
>Subject: OBS Hale-Bopp 5/15/96 0700 GMT
>Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 10:30:10 GMT
>Hale Bopp was looking good this morning in a 10" f/6.3 SCT. Easy find, upper
>left of Jupiter. Not sure of the magnitude..looked like 7 or 8 still a bit
>diffuse. However, there is some central condensation towards the nucleus and
>it has some similarity to Hyakutake early February. Only the slightest hint of
>elongation/tail. Best viewed at around 75-100 x
>This was from Eastern Ma. in somewhat light polluted skies, no filter

I saw it yesterday morning in a good dark sky. The guy I was with said it was magnitude 7. Once you knew where to look it was not too hard to pick out with binoculars.

Article: <4oami6$>
Subject: Hale- Bopp Observation 22 May
From: (SabiaJohn)
Date: 26 May 1996

John D. Sabia
Observation of Comet Hale-Bopp C/1995O1
Location - Clarks Summit , PA. USA
Date : May 22, 1996 UT
Time : 7:45 UT
Scope / binoculars : 10 x 50 Binoculars

Without the moon in the sky the Milky Way can bee seen in the constellation of Sagittarius. Limit magnitude near the comet is determined to be 5.1 magnitude. Found comet Hale-Bopp easily with binoculars. It appears as a very fuzzy nebula, without tail . The degree of condensation is estimate to be a value of 1 and size of the coma at 8.0 minutes of arc. Using the star SAO 162669 of magnitude 7.4 amd SAO 162682 of magnitude 7.9 , the comet is placed at magnitude 7.5 .

Article: <>
From: Gary Marriott
Subject: Re: Hale- Bopp Observation 22 May
Date: Mon, 27 May 1996 00:52:41 GMT

I was observing same for the two nights previously whilst on holiday in Portugal Lat 37N Long 7W with scopes 5.5 inch F3.6 and 20 inch F5 and took photographs through both. I agree with your estimate but add that the neucleus is very tight but with a low central brightness. Parabolic arcing coma condensation upwind and no apparent streaming in tail. Intergrated magnitude estimates are tricky to make at best and of little use to observers at worst.

Article: <>
Subject: RTMC '96 Observations
From: Tom Polakis
Date: 27 May 1996

RTMC '96 - My Two Cents ... Alan Hale's talk focused on using Comet Hale-Bopp as an opportunity to bring scientific literacy to the general public. He and Charles Morris fielded a number of questions after the talk. On that stage were two of the most prolific comet observers to be found. Their answers reflected that experience. ... RTMC presents amateurs with the opportunity to meet some folks who have contributed over the years. I met Charles Morris, whose Comet Observation Home Page is one of the finest services provided on the World Wide Web. He had estimated Comet Hale-Bopp as magnitude 6.6 in the morning of the 26th. ....

Article: <>
Subject: Re: Hale-Bopp naked eye
Organization: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Date: Wed, 29 May 1996 15:45:00 GMT

The people that have reported naked eye sightings of Hale-Bopp, including myself, are all experienced observers that would not be fooled by a close double star. When I observed it (May 26 UT), I was at 7500' at the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference. The comet was magnitude 6.6 in 10x50 B at the time.

Charles Morris
Comet Observation Home Page (

P.S. I will post Gordon's image today.

Article: <4mqbpb$>
Subject: Negative Sighting On Hale-Bopp, But...
From: Snyder)
Date: 08 Jun 1996

I made a special trip up to Fremont Peak State Park (near San Juan Bautista, Calif.) to view whatever I could of the occultation of Comet Hale-Bopp and our astronomy friend, the Moon. My equipment basically consisted of a 10" Meade LX200, bunches of eyepieces, and an ST6 CCD (just in case). Conditions were fairly good: very dry, very clear, and an estimated limiting magnitude, before moonrise, of about 6.0 (no fog covering valleys, so sky glow relatively prominent). Being the only "fool on the hill", I had my pick of locations and decided to set up next to the observatory (housing the FPOA 30" amateur alt/az Challenger Telescope). Wrong. As soon as most everything was setup, aligned, focused and nailed to the ground, the wind picked up. It picked up my observing log, my S&T May issue, my tarps, my box of hotwings, you get the picture. But hey, that's amateur astronomy. I love it. But I digress. I did many things before the bewitching hour of 1000 UT, when the event was close at hand. From moonrise at around 0725 UT to then, I observed many fantastic lunar features along the terminator, with eyepieces giving me over 250X down to widefield 60X. Just marvelous, if you consider a extra-terrestial debris strewn pox-marked comet-cratered asteroidal bombarded battleground marvelous. But I digress. I also observed the re-appearance of several brighter stars from the dark limb, just like in the predictions, and that double star system was just a keen sight. I was having tremendous reflection problems near the cusp, but could easily make out the edge of the dark limb as the stars completed their occultations. I keenly observed the predicted zone of the limb where the comet should re-appear, but I had no sighting it, or even a hint of it. I observed that area from 0955 UT until 1030 UT (well, after 1005, I started looking off the limb too) and no Hale-Bopp to be seen in my 10". Maybe some with larger telescopes or other instruments to reduce reflections, increase constrast, or sensitive video equipment had more success. I hope to hear about that on s.a.a. real soon. But I digress. Now for the But.... part. I saw a sight that will remain with me for as long as I live, or maybe for a day or two. For about two minutes, around 0800 UT (0100 PDT), I rode the Flaming Chariot of Zeus into Leo. As I was doing something at the eyepiece, out of the corner of my eye, I see this small brillant red-orange ball low on the southeast horizon. It grew more brillant by the second and was moving westward at a tremendous speed. I grabbed my binoculars and sighted it in, and I was awestruck. A more brillant red-orange I have never seen against the black of the night sky. The trail of this object, also flaming orange several arcminutes wide and extending for several degrees, lit up the southwestern sky like a hundred Antares going supernova. I followed it for a least two minutes, watching it trail fire and occasionally emit or cause huge puffs of smoke to swirl in the orange trail. It crossed Virgo, just about melted the top of Corvus,flamed above Crater, and barbecued Leo. But alas, the visible journey terminated somewhere in the heart of Leo at 0704.5 UT. The flaming chariot was no more, but this 'fool on the hill' had seen quite a spectacular sight, albeit all alone on this hill with no one to share it with. I did manage a Wow or two and I am glad to be able to share it with you. I would like to think it was the greatest fireball that one could ever see, but I put my money on a missile launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California. They sure know how to put on a show. Comet occultation or not, it was a memorable night at Fremont Peak. But I digress. Then there's Jupiter on this very night, but that's another Wow.

Article: <4pq586$9lj@engnews2.Eng.Sun.COM>
From: akkana@colibri.Eng.Sun.COM (Akkana Peck [CONTRACTOR])
Subject: Re: Hale-Bopp Sighted: Its Big!
Date: 13 Jun 1996 22:37:58 GMT

Jay Reynolds Freeman wrote:
>On the evening of Sunday, June 9, I tried looking for it from my home
>in suburban Palo Alto, CA, at about
>midnight, with an 8x25 monocular
>and with 7x35 binoculars, and could not find it.

Try a bit later. I saw it last Friday night, June 7, from the observatory at Foothill College in Los Altos, but only after 12:45; I tried twice before that, and even through the 16" I couldn't see anything (pointing at exactly the same spot where I later found it). At 12:45 I could just barely convince myself something was there in 8x30 binocs, but it was very obvious in the 16", roughly comparable in size and brightness to M81 (it's probably much better an hour later).

Article: <1996May14.165454.9286@ohstpy>
Subject: Saw Ceres last night
Date: 14 Jun 1996
Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Physics

Finally got some clear skies last night, so I went out with my new 10x50 binoculars at around 1 AM to try to get a limiting magnitude estimate in the light polluted skies of Euclid, OH. Vesta was very easy to find, and shines brightly in the 10x50s. However, I definitely saw Ceres and will be following it over the next few weeks. This is at around magnitude 7 at opposition, and relatively easy to find. This weekend, weather permitting, I am going to go to a dark site around 2:30 AM and try to see Uranus, Neptune, Hale-Bopp and Kopff all in one session. I fure I should be able to see them all with the binos.

Subject: OBS Hale-Bopp 5/15/96 0700 GMT
From: (Todd Gross)
Date: 16 June 1996

Hale Bopp was looking good this morning in a 10" f/6.3 SCT. Easy find, upper left of Jupiter. Not sure of the magnitude..looked like 7 or 8 still a bit diffuse. However, there is some central condensation towards the nucleus and it has some similarity to Hyakutake early February. Only the slightest hint of elongation/tail. Best viewed at around 75-100 x. This was from Eastern Ma. in somewhat light polluted skies, no filter

Subject: RE: Hale-Bopp naked eye
From: Gordon Garradd
Date: 27 Jun 1996

"David W. Knisely" wrote:

>I saw a couple of claims of naked eye viewing,
>but there is a double star near it which could mimic the comet.
>I hope it gets a little brighter.

I was able to hold it naked eye it about 50% of the time last week after it had mocved away from the brighter stars, and also I needed to hide Jupiter from view with my hand. My sky is very dark with the zodiacal band usually fairly easy to see, and Hale-Bopp was at the zenith. A new image (photograph)I took recently should appear on the Comet Observation Home Page when it is updated.

Article: <1996May27.031526.9339@ohstpy>
Subject: Re: Hale- Bopp Observation 22 May
Date: 27 May 1996
Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Physics

In article <4obj4s$>, "David W. Knisely" writes:
Hi there. I tend to agree on the magnitude (and am glad it is close to what I got
recently (+7.3). I have seen several claims of a magnitude brighter than 7.0, but
from my observations, I just can't quite buy that. My 10" showed it to be about 5'
wide, by 7' long, with faint extensions out to about 10' of arc (tail). I saw a
> couple of claims of naked eye viewing, but there is a double star near it which
could mimic the comet. I hope it gets a little brighter.

David Knisely

I looked for it two nights ago with 10x50s in light polluted yet very clear skies and couldn't see it. I did see, however, Jupiter (+Gaynamede, Callisto and Europa), Ceres, Vesta, Uranus AND Neptune in one 45 minute session. Couldn't detect anything for Hale-Bopp though. I am sure if I drive to darker skies it will help ALOT though. I didn't even try to see Kopff since I figure if I couldn't see HB... - (fuel for the Zetas??? :)