Daily Hale-Bopp Pictures

Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING)
Edif. Mayantigo, 2º piso
Apartado 321
38780 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Spain
Contact: Javier Méndez Alvarez, Public Relations Officer. Tel.: +34-22-425464. Fax: +34-22-425401. E-mail: jma@ing.iac.es

Santa Cruz de La Palma, the 18th of March 1997.- The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING) is showing the rest of the world pictures of the Hale-Bopp, through Internet, which are updated on a daily basis. These pictures are being taken mainly by the CoCam (Comet Camera), the wide field CCD imaging facility of the ING. By doing this, ING hopes nobody will miss the spectacle of the Hale-Bopp. It will also allow everyone to follow its evolutions during the days of its brightest visibility.

A comet is called a Great Comet when its brightness, its tail length and period of visibility are exceptional. The Hale-Bopp Comet is already called the Great Comet of 1997, and has gone well beyond the best predictions. The maximum approach to the Earth, when the comet will be 197 millons of kilometers away, will take place on the 22nd of March, and the maximum approach to the Sun, on the 1st of April. During those days, Hale-Bopp will be as bright as Sirius, the brightest star in the sky after the Sun.

On the web page you can find pictures taken with the CoCam since its first light on the 6th of March. You can also find other pictures taken with the ING telescopes. On the other hand, there is an interesting section dedicated to recent scientific news on Hale-Bopp, press releases produced by ING, and a list of links to other information resources available on the web that talk about the comet. The Hale-Bopp page is updated daily. The URLs are:

http://www.ing.iac.es/PR/HB/HBindex.htmlHale-Bopp page.
http://www.ing.iac.es/PR/press/Press_Photo_ING197.gif Press Photo ING 1/97.
http://www.ing.iac.es/PR/press/Caption_ING197.htmlCaption Press Photo ING 1/97
http://www.ing.iac.esING main page.

CoCam was designed and built by the ING to carry out narrow band photometry of the comet. It consists of a CCD plus a zoom tele-objective. The field of view is up to 20 degrees.

The three ING telescopes will continue to take an active part in the international campaign of Hale-Bopp observations carried out by the European Group constituted in 1996 to study this comet. These observations are possible thanks to the 5% of the observational time that the ING offers to international research projects.

The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes is run by The United Kingdom and The Netherlands and consists of the William Herschel (4.2 m), the Isaac Newton (2.5 m) and the Jacobus Kapteyn (1.0 m) telescopes. William Herschel telescope is the most powerful telescope of the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma.