Friday, January 05, 2007

Comet McNaught Heads for the Sun

Credit & Copyright: Michael Jager and Gerald Rhemann

Explanation: Early morning risers with a clear and unobstructed eastern horizon can enjoy the sight of Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1) in dawn skies over the next few days. Discovered in August by R. H. McNaught (Siding Spring Survey) the comet has grown bright enough to see with the unaided eye but will soon be lost in the glare of the Sun. Still, by January 11 sun-staring spacecraft SOHO should be able to offer web-based views as the comet heads toward a perihelion passage inside the orbit of Mercury. This image captures the new naked-eye comet at about 2nd magnitude in twilight skies near sunset on January 3rd. After rounding the Sun and emerging from the solar glare later this month, Comet McNaught could be even brighter.

4 comments:

Stardust said...

to a certain commenter-- you know who you are...

you do not read, nor do you even want to try to understand the answers. There have always been the masses who follow the herd, and the few who reject popular beliefs and take the road less traveled. Flat-earthers were superstitious sheeple who were afraid to question, while men like Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Eratosthenes, Claudius Ptolemy, Copernicus and Galileo (just to name a few) were right and the flat-earthers were wrong.

Just because there happens to be a lot of people who believe something doesn't necessarily mean it is true.

Tommy said...

Surely that comet is a harbinger of terrible things to come! The Aztecs are doomed for sure. Oh wait, that happened already.

Anonymous said...

How cool! I wish it wasn't so cloudy all the time over here where I live. :(

Stardust said...

I wanted to try to see it this morning and it was raining! It seems to be clearing up so maybe I will be able to see it tomorrow in the wee hours.