Hale-Bopp 10 years later

By: Patrap , 10:55 AM GMT on March 28, 2007


Comet Hale-Bopp
THE GREAT COMET OF 1997. Above, the bright head of comet Hale-Bopp, called the coma, is pointed towards the Sun. The coma is composed of dust and gas, masking the solid nucleus of the comet made up of rock, dust and ice. Photo taken by Jim Young at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories Table Mountain Observatory in March 1997.
The most spectacular celestial viewing event of 1997 was the arrival of comet Hale-Bopp in the northern hemisphere. Its closest approach to Earth was on March 22nd, and its closest approach to the Sun (when it was at its brightest) was on April 1stnot to return to Earth again until the year 4397. The comet, designated C/1995 O1, was discovered independently on July 23, 1995, by Alan Hale, New Mexico, and Thomas Bopp, Arizona. It was the farthest comet ever discovered by amateurs, and appeared 1,000 times brighter than comet Halley did at the same distance.

An unprecedented year-long study was made of Hale-Bopp by two NASA observatoriesthe Hubble Space Telescope and the International Ultraviolet Explorer. Astronomers estimated that it had a monstrous nucleus about 19 to 25 mi in diameter. The average comet is thought to have a nucleus of about three miles in diameter, or even smaller. By comparison, the comet or asteroid that struck Earth 65 million years ago, possibly causing the extinction of the dinosaurs, was probably six to nine miles across.

Scientists were surprised to find that the different ices in its complex nucleus seemed to be isolated from each other. They reported seeing unexpectedly brief and intense bursts of activity from the nucleus during the monitoring period, suggesting that the nucleus must be an incredibly dynamic place. Astronomers using spectroscopic instruments were also amazed to discover that the comet had a thin, third tail composed of sodium atoms, a type never seen before.Below are the pictures I took April 7th 1997 near Lake Ponchatrain. The Camera used was a Canon AE-1 with 1000 speed Kodak Royal Gold film on tripod.Exposure times were between 25-35 seconds
Visitor Map
Create your own visitor map! 8 337y08

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

Sign In or Register Sign In or Register

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 45 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

45. Patrap
4:27 PM GMT on March 29, 2007
Nova listening...shhhh!
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
44. Patrap
3:56 PM GMT on March 29, 2007
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
42. Patrap
12:35 PM GMT on March 29, 2007
Sunrise here.7am cst..7
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
41. steamlaunch
12:10 PM GMT on March 29, 2007
Yooo LTT, how do you get a non photo type pix on a bloggy? Been there tried that, blah!
40. Lovethetropics
12:02 PM GMT on March 29, 2007

Good morning Patrap!! Have a totally uncomplicated Thursday!!!

Member Since: August 18, 2005 Posts: 236 Comments: 11372
39. steamlaunch
12:00 PM GMT on March 29, 2007

Got one picture on here but cannot get two ...what am I missing... ?
38. Patrap
10:50 AM GMT on March 29, 2007
3/29/2007, 12:19 a.m. CDT
The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. has reached another settlement with a Mississippi Gulf Coast couple who sued the insurer over damage to their home from Hurricane Katrina.

State Farm spokesman Phil Supple told The Associated Press the settlement with Virginia and John Roper Sr. was reached Wednesday, but had no other details and terms weren't disclosed.

"We've come to an agreement and we're moving forward," Supple said late Wednesday. "We're in a spirit of resolution on these and this is another example."


Trial in the lawsuit was to begin April 9. The case was to be heard by federal Judge Bernard A. Friedman, a Michigan judge assigned to the lawsuit after Southern Mississippi district judges disqualified themselves because John Roper is a federal judge.

The Ropers sued when State Farm denied their claim after Hurricane Katrina reduced their Ocean Springs home to a slab in August 2005.

They claimed in their lawsuit that when they bought their policy, State Farm implied "full and comprehensive" coverage. But the insurer denied their claim, saying the home was destroyed by flood and not the winds of the hurricane.

The Ropers allege State Farm did not fully investigate their claims following the disaster, which devastated communities in Mississippi and Louisiana.

The couple sought more than $75,000 in actual damages and an unspecified amount in punitive damages. They originally filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, but moved the case to federal court where hundreds of Mississippi residents have sued State Farm and other insurers.

Judges in previous trials have split on whether to allow juries to consider punitive awards. State Farm settled four previous cases in Mississippi since a $2.5 million judgment that was reduced to $1 million was handed down by a jury in January.

The company recently decided it will no long offer new homeowner policies in Mississippi and has been working toward a settlement of claims with the state.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
37. Patrap
10:36 AM GMT on March 29, 2007
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
36. Raysfan70
9:36 AM GMT on March 29, 2007
{{Pat and Family}}
free myspace comments

Have A Great Thursday!
Member Since: July 28, 2005 Posts: 138 Comments: 57354
35. Patrap
12:40 AM GMT on March 29, 2007
Mine too LowerCal..thanks
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
34. LowerCal
11:52 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Great pictures Pat! The last is my favorite.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9975
33. Patrap
11:36 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
You too Clady!..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
32. charlestonlady
10:40 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
have a great wednesday evening friend!
Member Since: June 26, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 16683
31. Patrap
10:33 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
29. Patrap
7:51 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Immagine bella della cometa Star75..Graci Hale-Bopp
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
28. star75
7:48 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketCOMETA HALE BOPP SOBRE PARIS
27. Patrap
7:38 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
FOO Fighters fo sho!,,,yeah BABY!,,,,
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
26. Patrap
7:36 PM GMT on March 28, 2007

The Sunken City
by John McPhee September 12, 2005

The Control of Nature: Atchafalaya;
McPhee, John;
New Orleans, Louisiana;
Water (Floods);
Fairless, Bob;
Mark Twain

(From The Control of Nature: Atchafalaya, which ran in the issue of February 23, 1987.)

New Orleans, surrounded by levees, is emplaced between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi like a broad shallow bowl. Nowhere is New Orleans higher than the rivers natural bank. Underprivileged people live in the lower elevations, and always have. The richby the riveroccupy the highest ground. In New Orleans, income and elevation can be correlated on a literally sliding scale: the Garden District on the highest level, Stanley Kowalski in the swamp. The Garden District and its environs are locally known as uptown.

Torrential rains fall on New Orleansenough to cause flash floods inside the municipal walls. The water has nowhere to go. Left on its own, it would form a lake, rising inexorably from one level of the economy to the next. So it has to be pumped out. Every drop of rain that falls on New Orleans evaporates or is pumped out. Its removal lowers the water table and accelerates the citys subsidence. Where marshes have been drained to create tracts for new housing, ground will shrink, too. People buy landfill to keep up with the Joneses. In the words of Bob Fairless, of the New Orleans District engineers, Its almost an annual spring ritual to get a load of dirt and fill in the low spots on your lawn. A child jumping up and down on such a lawn can cause the earth to move under another child, on the far side of the lawn.

Many houses are built on slabs that firmly rest on pilings. As the turf around a house gradually subsides, the slab seems to rise. Where the driveway was once flush with the floor of the carport, a bump appears. The front walk sags like a hammock. The sidewalk sags. The bump up to the carport, growing, becomes high enough to knock the front wheels out of alignment. Sakrete appears, like putty beside a windowpane, to ease the bump. The property sinks another foot. The house stays where it is, on its slab and pilings. A ramp is built to get the car into the carport. The ramp rises three feet. But the yard, before long, has subsided four. The carport becomes a porch, with hanging plants and steep wooden steps. A carport that is not firmly anchored may dangle from the side of a house like a third of a drop-leaf table. Under the house, daylight appears. You can see under the slab and out the other side. More landfill or more concrete is packed around the edges to hide the ugly scene. A gas main, broken by the settling earth, leaks below the slab. The sealed cavity fills with gas. The house blows sky high.

The people cannot have wells, and so they take rain-water, Mark Twain observed in the eighteen-eighties. Neither can they conveniently have cellars or graves, the town being built upon made ground; so they do without both, and few of the living complain, and none of the others. The others may not complain, but they sometimes leave. New Orleans is not a place for interment. In all its major cemeteries, the clients lie aboveground. In the intramural flash floods, coffins go out of their crypts and take off down the street.

The water in New Orleans natural aquifer is modest in amount and even less appealing than the water in the river. The city consumes the effluent of nearly half of America, and, more immediately, of the American Ruhr. None of these matters withstanding, in 1984 New Orleans took first place in the annual Drinking Water Taste Test Challenge of the American Water Works Association.

The river goes through New Orleans like an elevated highway. Jackson Square, in the French Quarter, is on high ground with respect to the rest of New Orleans, but even from the benches of Jackson Square one looks up across the levee at the hulls of passing ships. Their keels are higher than the AstroTurf in the Superdome, and if somehow the ships could turn and move at river level into the city and into the stadium they would hover above the playing field like blimps.

In the early nineteen-eighties, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a new large district headquarters in New Orleans. It is a tetragon, several stories high, and it is right beside the river. Its foundation was dug in the mainline levee. That, to a fare-thee-well, is putting your money where your mouth is.

Among the five hundred miles of levee deficiencies now calling for attention along the Mississippi River, the most serious happen to be in New Orleans. Among other factors, the freeboardthe amount of levee that reaches above flood levelshas to be higher in New Orleans to combat the waves of ships. Elsewhere, the deficiencies are averaging between one and two feet with respect to the computed high-water flow line, which goes on rising as runoffs continue to speed up and waters are increasingly confined. Not only is the water higher. The levees tend to sink as well. They press down on the mucks beneath them and squirt materials out to the sides. Their crowns have to be built up. You put five feet on and three feet sink, a Corps engineer remarked to me one day. This is especially true of the levees that frame the Atchafalaya swamp, so the Corps has given up trying to fight the subsidence there with earth movers alone, and has built concrete floodwalls along the tops of the levees, causing the largest river swamp in North America to appear to be the worlds largest prison. It keeps in not only water, of course, but silt. Gradually, the swamp elevations are building up. The people of Acadiana say that the swamp would be the safest place in which to seek refuge in a major flood, because the swamp is higher than the land outside the levees.

As sediments slide down the continental slope and the river is prevented from building a proper lobeas the delta plain subsides and is not replenishederosion eats into the coastal marshes, and quantities of Louisiana steadily disappear. The net loss is over fifty square miles a year. In a hundred years, Louisiana as a whole has decreased by a million acres. Plaquemines Parish is coming to pieces like old rotted cloth. A hundred years hence, there will in all likelihood be no Plaquemines Parish, no Terrebonne Parish. Such losses are being accelerated by access canals to the sites of oil and gas wells. There are in Louisiana ten thousand miles of canals. In the nineteenfifties, after Louisiana had been made nervous by the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Corps of Engineers built the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a shipping canal that saves forty miles by traversing marsh country straight from New Orleans to the Gulf. The canal is known as Mr. Go, and shipping has largely ignored it. Mr. Go, having eroded laterally for twenty-five years, is as much as three times its original width. It has devastated twenty-four thousand acres of wetlands, replacing them with open water. A mile of marsh will reduce a coastal-storm-surge wave by about one inch. Where fifty miles of marsh are gone, fifty inches of additional water will inevitably surge. The Corps has been obliged to deal with this fact by completing the ring of levees around New Orleans, thus creating New Avignon, a walled medieval city accessed by an interstate that jumps over the walls.

The coast is sinking out of sight, Oliver Houck has said. Weve reversed Mother Nature. Hurricanes greatly advance the coastal erosion process, tearing up landscape made weak by the confinement of the river. The threat of destruction from the south is even greater than the threat from the north
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
23. Patrap
6:39 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Ill go with that too rand..sweet post.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
22. Patrap
6:38 PM GMT on March 28, 2007

Posted by: JeffMasters, 7:36 AM EDT on August 28, 2005
Katrina is in the midst of a truly historic rapid deepening phase--the pressure has dropped 34 mb in the 11 hours ending at 7am EDT, and now stands at 908 mb. Katrina is now the sixth strongest hurricane ever measured in the Atlantic. At the rate Katrina is deepening, she could easily be the third or fourth most intense hurricane ever, later today. The list of strongest hurricanes of all time includes:

Hurricane Gilbert (888 mb, 1988)

The Great Labor Day Hurricane (892 mb, 1935)

Hurricane Allen (899 mb, 1980)

Hurricane Camille (905 mb, 1969)

Hurricane Mitch (905 mb, 1998)

Hurricane Ivan (910 mb, 2004)

Katrina's winds and storm surge
Maximum sustained winds at flight level during the 7am Hurricane Hunter mission into Katrina were 153 knots, which translates to 160 mph at the surface, making Katrina a minimal Category 5 hurricane. The winds are likely to increase to "catch up" to the rapidly falling pressure, and could approach the all-time record of 190 mph set in Camille and Allen. Winds of this level will create maximum storm surge heights over 25 feet, and this storm surge will affect an area at least double the area wiped clean by Camille, which was roughly half the size of Katrina. Katrina has continued to expand in size, and is now a huge hurricane like Ivan. Damage will be very widespread and extreme if Katrina can maintain Category 5 strength at landfall.

Landfall projections
The computer models are very tightly clustered and have been so for almost a day. The data used to initialize the models is excellent, since all available hurricane hunter aircraft have been in the air continuously making measurements for several days. Katrina has already made her turn northward, which makes the task of landfall prediction for the models much easier. The offical NHC forecast of a landfall in SE Louisiana, on the western edge of New Orleans, is thus a high-confidence forecast. The spread in the landfall location is just 90 miles, meaning the eye of Katrina is very likely to hit somewhere between New Orleans and a point just east of the Mississippi-Louisiana border.

Intensity forecast
Katrina's intensity at landfall is likely to be Category 4, but could easily be Category 3 or 5. She will undergo another eyewall replacement cycle before landfall, and this will weaken her maximum winds by 20 - 30 mph for a 12-hour period. Additionally, some increase in shear is possible in the 12 hours prior to landfall, which could weaken Katrina's winds another 10 - 20 mph. If we are extrememly lucky, both factors will conspire to knock Katrina down to a Category 3 and she will hit at low tide. Given that the storm is so large and is already pushing up a huge storm surge wave in front of it, even a weakened Category 3 Katrina hitting at low tide will cause an incredible amount of damage. A stretch of coast 170 miles long will experience hurricane force winds, given the current radius of hurricane force winds around the storm. A direct hit on New Orleans in this best-case scenario may still be enough to flood the city, resulting in heavy loss of life and $30 billion or more in damage.

Dr. Jeff Masters
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
20. CrackerMI
6:35 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Take care Pat and thanks to you and yours. I've learned an awful lot about weather from these blogs.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 3 Comments: 126
19. Patrap
6:33 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Dr. Masters timely post may have saved hundreds if not thousands of lives before Katrina Struck. And for that ..we shall always be grateful. Thanks for dropping by CrackerMI
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
18. CrackerMI
6:29 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Thanks Pat. I found these blogs as Katrina was passing over South Florida, watched on Dr. Masters blog in trepidition as as it headed your way. Visited your fair city as a young man in '68 and always felt it was an amazing place. Hopefully it will be rebuilt even better.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 3 Comments: 126
17. Patrap
6:19 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Sometimes the Wunderground has trouble with some sizing,..It should clear.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
16. Patrap
6:18 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Negative on the screen stretch..All good here..The comet was a real treat for millions in 97.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
15. CrackerMI
6:15 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Nice pictures. I remember it was bright enough, I could see it without my glasses when I put my dogs out in the morning. Is your blog set extra wide? It takes up three screen widths on a 21" monitor set at 1600x1200. Hard to read even with my glasses LOL.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 3 Comments: 126
14. Patrap
5:46 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Dan Baum "New Orleans Journal" The New Yorker Magazine March 27, 2007
The Heebie-Jeebies

This is a story I have to tell in several parts. It begins for me on September 8, 2005, ten days after the flood, at the teeming and fetid Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, in New Orleans. Thats where I first met the two men Ive mentioned in this column before as the Stingy-Brim brothers.

The people boarding the evacuation buses that day were the holdoutstoo poor to leave before the storm, too stubborn or frightened to leave afterward. (Some New Orleanians had already begun objecting to the term refugee, and one man shouted to nobody in particular, I aint no refugee! I aint no evacuee! Im a MF-ing evictee!) Many had never left New Orleans at all; a good number may never even have left the neighborhoods where they were born. As the crisis wore on, they either were brought to the convention center forcibly, by police, or dragged themselves in, defeated by thirst, hunger, and heat. For many, it was a moment of bottomless despair.

A Harrahs Casino bus was waiting to take the holdouts to Louis Armstrong International Airport. As they climbed aboard, a slasher movie called Wrong Turn was playing on a screen near the front. A thrown axe decapitated a pretty young woman hiding in a tree, and the camera followed her headless body as it plummeted through the branches. Damn! a wild-eyed man shouted approvingly; a woman in the back cried, Why are they showing us this? As we waited, we could either watch the movie or look out the window at Vice-President Dick Cheney. He walked across a parking lot, surrounded by aides and cameras, and climbed into a green-and-white helicopter that churned dust as it lifted off. Wrong Turn ended and Ray came on, with loving scenes of poor black families and jazz counterculture. In some ways, it was more painful to watch than the slasher movie. The bus went quiet, tear-streaked faces gazing up at the screen. Then we were rolling through eerily deserted streets.

The wild-eyed man whod liked the slasher movie was forty-nine-year-old Roger Wells. With him was his fifty-five-year-old brother, Anthony. If Damon Runyan had written about black people, he might have created Roger and Anthony. They alternately quoted Scripture (God said he wouldnt destroy the world by water. Thats why theres rainbows: Gods promise to the world) and unspooled stories about living in the cracks of the old New Orleans economy (You can make thirty, forty dollars in a day gathering cans). Roger was compact and animated to the point of jumpy; his frequent wide smile revealed a missing tooth. Anthony was quieter and more ruminative. Wiry and gray-haired, with a gray bristle mustache, he wore a snappy stingy-brim balanced on the back of his head. His voice quavered when he spoke of New Orleans. Wont be anybody there to sing the blues no more, and you need the blues, he said. When you got the blues, you shake off the heebie-jeebies. The heebie-jeebiesll kill you straight out. Near as I can tell, the heebie-jeebies was Anthonys way of describing the anxiety of being poor.

At the airport, National Guardsmen and Louisiana state policemen divided up the frightened, exhausted crowd into groups of about fifty. The Wells brothers and their group were shown to Gate C-5, which is where a Transportation Security Administration air marshal spotted me, flew into a noisy rage because a reporter was planning to take an evacuees seat on a plane, and kicked me out of the airport at midnight. But as the Wells brothers told me later, they sat at the gate until 2 a.m., when they were herded across the tarmac onto a Delta jet. First class! Anthony told me. Other people went on an Army plane or some shit. We had our little peanuts, our little drink. It wasnt until they landed, in the predawn gloom, that they were told they were in Nashville, Tennessee. Then they were put on busesdogs, cats, and allto Knoxville.

I caught up with the Wells brothers the next day at the shelter in Knoxville, a big basketball arena full of Army cots. A pretty blond Red Cross volunteer was sitting on Rogers bunk, helping him set up a cell phone that hed bought with a debit card provided by the Red Cross. Anthony leaned back on his bunk, put his hands behind his head, and rolled a toothpick from one side of his mouth to the other. We went from station to station, getting I.D.s, answering questions, getting medication, he said. We got a hot shower, hot food, a shave. Nice bed. Red Cross gave me a hundred dollars. He paused. Only thing missing is, I aint got no place to go.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
13. Patrap
4:41 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
12. EmmyRose
4:21 PM GMT on March 28, 2007

she-bop 10 years later.....
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 347 Comments: 76406
10. sandcrab39565
4:15 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
WU Mail Pat
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
9. Patrap
3:56 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Comet Hale-Bopp
Date: April 5, 1997
Location: Payhayokee, Everglades National Park, Florida9
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
8. Patrap
3:55 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Hale Bopp over the East Coast 97 4
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
7. Patrap
3:54 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Hale Bopp April 1997
Canon 28 mm at f/2.8
Fuji 800
One exposure of 4 minutes,..unknown photographer 6
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
6. Patrap
3:51 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
10 years gone steamlaunch ,,sure has flown by.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
4. steamlaunch
3:50 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Patrap, has it been 10 years? Couldn't be I'm not getting that old that fasy, am I? HP
3. Patrap
3:48 PM GMT on March 28, 2007
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227

Viewing: 45 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

Top of Page

Patrap's WunderBlog

About Patrap

Local Weather

Scattered Clouds
69 °F
Scattered Clouds

Patrap's Recent Photos


Personal Weather Stations

About Personal Weather Stations