Astronomy Picture of the Day

Southern Comet

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#98195 by @ 19.01.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Southern Comet


After a remarkable performance in the northern hemisphere,
the brightest comet in decades is now showing off
in the south.

Recorded during evening twilight on January 17, this view features
the bright coma and gorgeous, sweeping
tail of
McNaught (c/2006 P1)

over Lake Horowhenua in Levin, a small town on New Zealand's
North Island.

Astronomer Noel Munford reports that the five second long digital
camera exposure comes close to capturing the visual appearance of
the comet in a sky coloured by smoke from distant brush fires
in Australia.

Discovered last summer by R. H. McNaught
(Siding Spring Survey),
the comet grew
in early January and has even been sighted in full daylight.

In the coming days
Comet McNaught will continue to move south,
for now a spectacle in
southern skies
as it heads for the outer solar system.

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