The Great Comet of 1997
C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp was one of the intrinsically brightest comets observed in recorded history. Unfortunately, it never ventured close to the Earth, however, it was still a prominent Northern Hemisphere object in April 1997. By May 1997, southern hemisphere observers were able to pick it up low in the north west after sunset. This photo was taken from Stockport observatory, home of the Astronomical Society of South Australia, using a 50mm lens at f/1.8 for 30 seconds with ASA 400 film on May 10th 1997. The 3 day old moon is overexposed.
Hale-Bopp and the Large Magellanic Cloud on Jan 19th 1998. Note the faint 4 degree long dust tail. The Earth was close to the comets orbital plane at the time enabling enhanced visibility.
This comet will return in the year 4518.