Michael A. Stecker
Comet Hyakutake (C/1996B2)
In late March, 1996 Comet Hyakutake was one of the best comet's of the twentieth century because of its close approach to earth.
The comet's blue ion tails are spread out into several components. The head of the comet (small central yellow spot) is
seen within the much larger green coma. Because the comet was moving so rapidly relative to earth, I guided on its head.
If this was not done the comet's head would not appear round. The multiple short lines represent star trails
and show how rapidly the comet was moving relative to us and the background stars.
An 8-inch f/4 Takahashi Epsilon 200 reflecting telescope was used with a 35 mm camera and hypersensitized Fujicolor HG 400 film.
A single 20-minute exposure was made while guiding on the comet's head.