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Uneven Stretch

Below are three series of images from the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii, by D. Tholen and R Wainscoat, IfA from their web sites at of what is purported to be Hale-Bopp on September 1, 1995. Separate images for red, green, and blue spectrums are taken to create the final image, which is an overlay of the three.

The three rows below are purported to be of the same swath of sky, but from the bottom row up the rows have been subjected to what is called a stretch, enhancing the brightness of dim stars below a certain threshold. During a stretch, any enhanced light will stop being enhanced as soon as it reaches the threshold. However, a careful examination of the results of the stretch in the center of the image, where Hale-Bopp is purported to be, and all the peripheral stars, appears to show that the stretch was not even applied. The center portion where Hale-Bopp is purported to be brightens at a faster rate, and does not stop being enhanced when the peripheral stars stop being enhanced. This would imply that the red, green, and blue images themselves may be a composite.