Great comets observed from Stromboli
The pictures of this page link to larger versions. They were taken on Stromboli in the springs of 1996 and 1997 by Marco Fulle (Copyright). The camera was guided on the stars using a simple hand-driven mounting («barn door mount»).
28 March 1997 19:25 UT (f=50mm f/2.8, exp=15min) from Punta Labronzo. Comet Hale-Bopp in Andromeda. Above the comet the Perseus double cluster and the red emmission nebulae IC1805 are visible.
7 April 1997 19:40 UT, (f=50mm f/2.8, exp=15min) from Bastimento, 750m. Hale-Bopp. The zodiac light brightens the left part of the image. On the right: Perseus double cluster and red emmission nebulae IC1805.
7 April 1997 19:10 UT (f=135mm f/2.5, exp=10min) from Bastimento, 750m. Comet Hale-Bopp in Perseus. White: dust tail; blue: plasma tail (note longitudinal streamers).
5 April 1997 18:45 UT (f=28mm f/2.8, exp=3min) from Bastimento, 750m. Simultaneous view of the twilight (yellow-red near horizon) and of the zodiac light (blue cone above it). Mercury is the lowest bright «star». Plejads upper left, Comet Hale-Bopp above right.
15 April 1996 19:10 UT (f=28mm f/2.8, exp=15min) from Bastimento, 800m. Comet Hyakutake in Perseus, within the zodiacal light (right), Plejads cluster (center), Taurus (left), Venus (top). Crater 1 erupting; lower streaks: passing ships; streak near comet: aeroplane.
20 April 1996 19:00 UT (f=28mm f/2.8, exp=3min) from Bastimento, 850m. Comet Hyakutake in the twilight, Mercury on its lower left, Venus top left corner; Plejads cluster between the two planets. Crater 1 erupting.
|About Marco Fulle|
Astronomer at the Osservatorio Astronomico, Via Tiepolo 11, 34131 Trieste, Italy. He specializes in comet physics, space missions to comets and interplanetary dust.
Marco started his scientific career 25 years ago as an amateur astronomer after the apparition of the 70's bright comets (Kohoutek and West) made a strong impression on him. However, gradually increasing light pollution of night sky reduced his pleasure of looking at stars; moreover, 80's were really poor of bright comets.
In 1989 he «discovered» Stromboli. Here he found the same pleasure in watching a big nature phenomenon, in the silence of the night, darkness and solitude.
From Stromboli he went on to Etna. He found this mountain very different: unlimited spaces, snow, at night the terrifying solitude, the lava flows which Stromboli has not offered for too many years. His Etna experiences started with the big 1992 eruption.
Finally, the famine of great comets ended, with the opportunity of contemplating both phenomena at once. Marco did not hesitate to choose Stromboli as base for observing the great comet Hale-Bopp, because of its open NW sky, also surely one of the darkest in Italy.