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Monday, January 15, 2007

Comet McNaught,Coming To Oz !

If you are one of those comet-watchers desperately disappointed by the total flop of Halley's Comet in 1986, make sure you get out early this evening and every night until at least Friday to watch Comet McNaught, which is promising much better viewing.Comet McNaught, named after the Australian astronomer R H McNaught, who discovered it last year, will be visible low on the western horizon just after sunset from this evening for about a week, although tonight's viewing should be the best.Each night's show should last about half-an-hour, and it could be spectacular - although this is not guaranteed, as the Halley fizzle proved.

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Image Credit: Brian Lula via NASA.gov

Comet McNaught has continued to brighten as it approaches the sun and it is now the brightest comet in 30 years. For observers in the northern Hemisphere, tonight is probably the best time to see it: Go outside this evening and face the sunset. A clear view of the western horizon is essential, because the comet hangs very low. As the twilight fades to black, it should become visible to the naked eye. Observers say it's a fantastic sight through binoculars.
In the days ahead, Comet McNaught will pass the sun and emerge in good position for southern hemisphere viewing later this month. Meanwhile, solar heating will continue to puff up the comet, causing it to brighten even more. It could become one of the brightest comets in centuries, visible even in daylit skies.
I wonder if there are any plans for a group of insane people to take-off on Comet McNaught like they did on Hale Bopp…

Other views of Comet Hale Bopp

Heaven’s Gate

UFO Cults

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