Amateur astronomer views comet Hale-Bopp

Amateur astronomer views comet Hale-Bopp

R104/0086

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Caption

Amateur astronomer. View of an amateur astronomer viewing comet Hale-Bopp through a small telescope. Hale-Bopp (upper right) was one of the brightest comets of the 20th century. Its dust tail (white) consists of grains of dust pushed away from the comet head by the radiation of sunlight. Comets have a nucleus of ice and dust. As they approach the Sun their surface evaporates, releasing a tail millions of kilometres long. Amateur astronomy is a popular hobby which can range from simple observation of the stars to owning a large telescope and spending hours making detailed observations. Photographed in Arizona, USA.

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