Astronomy Picture of the Day

McNaught's Matinee

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#98259 by @ 20.01.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
McNaught's Matinee


Comets grow bright when they're close to the Sun,
basking in the intense solar radiation.

Of course, they're also usually impossible to
see against
the overwhelming scattered sunlight.

But surprising Comet McNaught - whose January 12 closest approach to
the Sun (perihelion passage) was well inside
the orbit
of Mercury - gave an enjoyable performance in
bright blue daytime skies.

In fact, comet expert David Levy captured this remarkable
inset (upper left) telescopic view of McNaught within an hour of
perihelion, with the comet in
broad daylight only about 7 degrees
away from the
Sun's position.

Stefan Seip's
wider daytime view of the comet and fluffy clouds
was recorded approximately a day later.

Seip used a polarizing filter and a telescope/camera set up
near Stuttgart, Germany.

No longer visible in broad daylight,
Comet McNaught
is now touring twilight
southern skies.

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