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Early morning light

In this 3-minute time-exposure photograph taken by Mark Schroeder, you can see Comet Hale-Bopp's twin tails. The photo was taken near Brooksville, at the St. Petersburg Astronomy Club's viewing site. Schroeder mounted his camera on a homemade tracking platform, which allows the camera to follow the comet at the rate the Earth rotates. Without the platform, a long exposure like this would cause the other stars to appear as streaks in the photograph. For more information about viewing and photographing the comet, see Page 3D.

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