Comet Hale-Bopp III

Comet Hale-Bopp III

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado
March, 1997

Comet Hale-Bopp is the brightest object to pass inside the earth's orbit in 420 years, and won't return again until 4360! From a distance, it would appear to be a big chunk of rock with pieces breaking away behind it. In actuality, it is a ball of dust, gases, ice and rocks that is less than 20 miles in diameter. Most of its time is spent in distant portions of the solar system where it is very cold. The comet's "tail" is formed as it approaches the sun, begins to melt, and the resulting gases give the appearance of a tail. I captured this image of the comet at approximately 4am, silhouetted by the red rocks of the Garden of the Gods.

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