Fan Shaped Tail of Comet West
The Whispy Fan Shaped Tail of Comet West Seen From Table Mountain Observatory
This picture was taken piggyback on the 24-inch telescope while
photometric observations of the
comet's nucleus were being made. The extensive fan shaped dust cloud is shown in the upper and
left portions of the photo. The gas or ion tail is that portion extending to the upper right, and is more
clearly defined. This picture was captured on March 8, 1976
A Zeiss-Ikon 35mm camera with a 35mm wide angle lens set at
f/2 was used to take this 15 minute
exposure on Kodak Tri-X 200 ASA film.
Table Mountain Observatory, operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is located just west of the
town of Wrightwood, California at an elevation of 7500 feet.
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