Comet Hyakutake: March - April 1996

In early 1996, a comet alert went out. Comet Hyakutake was to be a bright naked eye object in March-April. The comet gave me a memorable night of photography in Chiefland, Florida. Below are some of the shots:

Astronomer Jerrry Granade observing the comet through Tom Clark's 36-inch telescope. The comet was about magnitude 0 at this point and was obvious even in marginal skies. It was to be called "The Great Comet of 1996".

The comet as photographed using a 135mm lens. This photo was published in Astronomy and in a book about Comet Hale-Bopp.

My best shot! A 400mm lens tracked the comet and the fainter dust tail shows various rays emanating from the coma.

The comet then became a beautiful evening object in April. However, it had faded to about magnitude 3 and was only good to see in a dark location. Here is a 200mm shot of the comet showing a wonderful tail.

Back to Comets