Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Giant comet lights up skies

"Thousands of people have gathered in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and South Africa to watch Comet McNaught, the brightest comet seen from Earth in more than 40 years.

"It is one of very few comets that can be seen by the naked eye in daylight and is around 140 million km from the Earth.

"The comet consists of a head bigger than Mount Everest and a tail that stretches 30 million km into space.

"The man who spotted the comet, Robert McNaught, 50, originally from Prestwick, Ayrshire, was working at Siding Spring Observatory in NSW when he first saw it last August."
The Australian

"Comet McNaught can be seen in the southwest evening sky, up to the left from where the sun has set.

"City observers need binoculars but rural viewers should see it with the naked eye."
Sydney Daily Telegraph

(Best get out and see it tonight, because the moon is 22% and waxing.)

The Magnificent Tail of Comet McNaught (photo by Robert McNaught)

Get all the latest astronomy news each day at the richly illustrated The Universe Today, in the Wilson's Almanac Scriptorium.

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