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Extraterrestrial Visitor

Altitude: 200,000,000 km

 comet photo comet39bb.jpg

Comet | Caille Meteorite |

This extraterrestrial visitor to Beyond (the Haly-Bopp comet) passed by Provence, and the rest of our little round world, March-April 1997. It was a beautiful sight, clearly visible with the naked eye. If you missed it this time, it will be back around here again in about 2,380 years. It's not very regular, though, because it was last here 4,200 years ago.

We photographed it once from the Plateau de Calern, with laser beams in the background shooting up to satellites from the CERGA astronomical site. The Plateau de Calern is at 1300 m altitude, just above the Plateau de Caussols.

A couple of nights later, we tried some more shots from Gréolières-les-Neiges, about 20 km north of Grasse, at 1430 m altitude.

For you photographic techies, we got our best results with an exposure of 25 seconds at f2, with a 90mm lens on a 30-year-old Leicaflex, using a 1600 ASA slide film.

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