Comet Ikeya-Zhang Photo Gallery
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Summary: In Early March 2002, Comet Ikeya-Zhang became a naked-eye fuzzball in the evening sky. It soon brightened to 3rd magnitude and delighted sky watchers with its remarkable photogenic tail. The comet even had a stunning close encounter with the Andromeda Galaxy. But all good things must come to an end. On April 30th, Ikeya-Zhang made its closest approach to Earth (0.41 AU) and since then has been receding toward the outer solar system. The fading fuzzball now (on May 2, 2002) glows like a 5th magnitude star at the limit of naked-eye visibility. Soon it will be impossible to see without a telescope. So farewell, Ikeya-Zhang! It was a great show while it lasted. wishes to thank all those who submitted to the Comet Ikeya-Zhang gallery! The comet is now fading, and the gallery is now closed to submissions.

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

  Photographer, Location, Date Larger images Comments

Darrell Spangler,
Drake, Colorado
March 30
#1 Darrell Spangler captured this twilight shot of Ikeya-Zhang setting over the Colorado mountains on 3-30-02 using a Minolta 25-80 zoom and a 45 sec exposure at /f3.5 with Fuji 800 film. The Andromeda Galaxy can be seen in the lower right.

DJ Hanson,
Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
March 30
#1 DJ Hanson: "The Comet is seen near Mirach in Andromeda. Tracking was performed by mounting my camera lens on an Orion EQ-1 mount and performing rough polar alignment using only the 200mm telephoto lens. 30 March 2002, 03:30 UT. SE of Mountain Home AFB, Idaho."

Paolo Beltrame,
Venezia Giulia, Italy
March 29
#1 The dust tail of Comet Ikeya-Zhang is evident in this image by Paolo Beltrame of Italy. The image comprises 4 stacked exposures of 10-seconds each, and was taken with a 30 cm. telescope.

Dr. P. Clay Sherrod,
March 29
#1 Dr. P. Clay Sherrod: "Here is our image from last night. We were on Petit Jean Mountain under perfect skies. The comet was a "fist width" above the distant treetops and visible clearly to the naked eye, with the very delicate tail seen over 11 degrees in a NNE direction from the comet's bright central coma."

Rudolf A. Hillebrecht,
Lower Saxony, Germany
March 29
#1 Rudolf Hillebrecht: "Although imaged through thin, high clouds, the comet still shows two prominent tails: a straight blue gas tail and a wonderfully curved dust tail. Note the small blue gas fan to the left of its head! Over all, it appears to have much more intensive dust production these days."

Daniel Steiling,
Stuttgart, Germany
March 29
#1 Another image of the comet, showing the effects of the full moon. Daniel Steiling took this from his backyard in Kirchheim/Teck, Germany. Details on image watermark.

Andrea Aletti,
Filipo Simone, Varese, Italy
March 28
#1 This data set by the Schiaparelli Astronomical Observatory in Italy shows remarkable detail in the coma region. See image for technical data.

John Cordiale,
Queensbury, NY
March 28
#1 This image, which includes extensive technical data in the full-size version, was captured with a 500mm Takahashi refractor on March 28th, from Merope Observatory, Queensbury.

Jorgen Blom,
Near Stockholm, Sweden
March 28
#1 Jorgen Blom: "Despite 10 minutes of exposure, the tail in this image is no longer than one degree, although the full moon may have washed it out somewhat. However, the tail seems to have grown more 'stubby' since March 24. The brightest stars in the photo are about magnitude 6 and the faintest about magnitude 11.5. I used a 300-mm lens. Taken 35 kilometers south of Stockholm."

Benjamin Kuhne,
Cologne. Germany
March 24, 29
#1, #2, #3, #4 Benjamin Kuhne sent four pictures from two different settings. The image at right shows Ikeya-Zhang on March 24, a 16-second exposure. The other images are different fields of view from March 29th.

Terry Lutz,
Plymouth, Ohio
March 27
#1 Terrrrrry Lutz: "A picture of comet Ikeya-Zhang that I took on the evening of March 27. It is a 15 second exposure on Fuji 800 iso film, taken with a Canon Elan 2, with a 50mm lens at f/2.8. Northern Ohio has experienced a long stretch of cloudy nights so i jumped at the chance to get a picture despite the nearly full moon."

Dave Foster,
Ontario, Canada
March 27
#1, #2 Two beautiful images of the comet by Dave Foster of Canada. The bright red star to the right is Beta Andromedae.

Alex Haege,
Ulm, Germany
March 26
#1 A picture of Ikeya-Zhang above a church near the photographer's home in Germany. He used a Nikon camera, mounted on a motor-driven telescope, with a 180mm lens at f/2.8. The result is a two-minute exposure.

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