Comet Hyakutake spanning from the Little Dipper to the Big Dipper

Posted by Rod Pommier
on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

by Rod Pommier


Comet Hyakutake on March 26, 1996. The bowl of the Little Dipper is below the coma and Polaris is near the upper left corner. The tail stretches across the tail of Draco and well beyond the handle of the Big Dipper, which spans the right side of the image. Earlier that day, the comet had a tail disconnection event as it crossed from a regoion of one polarity of the Sun's magnetic field to the other. The ion tail will then disconnect and a new tail begins forming immediately. The disconnected old ion tail can be seen arcing toward Mizar and Alcor near the right edge of the photograph. Camera: Leica R3 with 50 mm lens at f/2.8. Telescope: The camera was riding piggyback on a Celestron Super C8 Plus with Byers Drive. Film:Kodak Gold ISO 400 color print film. Location: Sunriver, Oregon. Date/Time: 03/26/1996 08:30 UT. Exposure: 30 minutes.

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