Comet Ikeya-Zhang Photo Gallery
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Comet Ikeya-Zhang, which last visited the inner solar system in 1661, swung by the Sun on March 18, 2002. It is now glowing like a 3rd magnitude star -- albeit with a long, beautiful tail. This month the comet will move from the evening sky, where it is visible just after sunset, to the morning sky. Ikeya-Zhang's faint blue color and turbulent tail have made it one of the most photogenic comets in years.

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Unless otherwise stated, all images are copyrighted by the photographers.

  Photographer, Location, Date Larger images Comments

David Moore,

April 18

#1 David Moore sent this image of Comet Ikeya-Zhang with a Topcon Camera and 400 speed film. The image represents an 8-10 second exposure.

Charles Kiesel,
Fort Branch, IN
April 10, 15
#1, #2 Charles Kiesel: "The April 10th photo was taken with a 135mm lens and a 15 second exposure time. The April 15th photo was taken with a 200mm lens and about a 1-2 minute exposure time. Both were taken with some light pollution and thin haze."

Dr. P Clay Sherrod,
April 15
#1 Clay Sherrod: "The comet is fading! Although visible low on the northeast horizon this morning to the naked eye, I gave it a magnitude 3.9 with only about a 4 degree tail. Note the very nice spike coming from the coma, or head, which was quite obvious in binoculars."
John E Cordiale,
April 12
#1, #2 John Codiale gathered much data in these impressive two images, which include spectral analysis. Obtaining spectra helps us to determine the actual composition of the comet.

Dr. P Clay Sherrod,
April 18
#1 Clay Sherrod: "Ikeya Zhang, although rising substantially higher in the NE morning sky, is now showing signs of fading rapidly. This image was captured just minutes before the light of dawn and after the clearing of high cirrus clouds. The comet's magnitude in binoculars was estimated at 4.3 magnitude, just visible to the naked eye, and down almost one-half magnitude since April 12."

Chris Schur,
Payson, Arizona
April 14
#1 Chris Schur captured this beautiful image of Ikeya-Zhang's deep green coma. He exposed his film for 15 minutes with each color filter (RGB), then stacked the exposures.

Tom Teters,
Northern Colorado
April 13
#1, #2 Tom Teters sent us these two 11-second exposures of the comet moving across a cloudy sky. He used an 80mm Stellarvue refracting telescope.

Jimmy Westlake,
Yampa, CO
April 12
#1, #2, #3 Jimmy Westlake: "Three new images of Comet I-Z taken the morning of April 12, 2002 from the Flat Top Mountains near Yampa, CO, elevation 9000 ft. What the comet is losing in brightness, it seems to be gaining in detail as it closes in on Earth."

Dominic Cantin,
Quebec, Canda
April 12
#1 Great detail is visible in this beautiful image of Comet Ikeya-Zhang by Dominic Cantin. He used an 8-inch schmidt-camera @ f/1.5 with Fuji 800 film. The image consists of three stacked five-minute exposures.

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