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Brightest Comet in History ?

  1. Jan 15, 2007 #1

    russ_watters

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    ...and we in the northern hemisphere won't see it at its best. Comet McNaught is predicted to reach between mag -4 and -9. At -4 (I think it is already there), it is merely the brightest in 30 years. At -9, it could be the brightest ever recorded. People are taking pictures of it with regular cameras, moments after sunset, with the sky almost completely bright. A few have even caught it in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, its oribt's inclination puts it in the souther hemisphere's sky starting in a few days (already gone for us). I didn't get a chance to see it, but here are some pretty impressive pictures:

    http://skytonight.com/community/gallery/skyevents/5129766.html

    I may try to get some daytime photos of it...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2007 #2
    I only found out last thursday night, apparantly the best day for northern views. Unfortunatley with the Scottish weather I never got a chance to see it. Even during the day, (I haven't seen the sun in over a week!). Tommorow might be ok but I think its too late:frown:
     
  4. Jan 19, 2007 #3
    It's been raining or cloudy for weeks in Singapore during sunset time :rolleyes: even though it is sunny in the morning! So.... :cry:
     
  5. Jan 19, 2007 #4
    Don't bother...we equator'ers don't get to watch this spectacle any time. :grumpy: :frown: :cry:
     
  6. Jan 19, 2007 #5

    George Jones

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    Here, it's cloudy much of the time, but I had three nights of good viewing - January 7, 11,13. Beautiful in my 15x70 binoculars.

    For anyone interested, here are some diagrams that I made to show why north, but not too far north, was good. Each diagram consists of two curved lines and a horizontal line. On each diagram: the top curved line represents the daily path of the comet; the bottom curved line represents the daily path of the Sun; the horizontal line is the horizon; East is on the left, south is in the middle and west is on the right.

    The top diagram shows what I saw in Saint John, New Brunswick at lattidue 45N. Notice that when the Sun rose (crosses the horizontal line), the comet was already up, and that when the Sun set, the comet was still up. All day, the Sun and comet are up together, but the brightness of the atmosphere washed out the comet (except on the 13th).

    The middle diagram shows what an observer with a lattitude of 71N (e.g., on Baffin Island) or so saw. Notice that the Sun was always below the horizon, but the comet was above the horizon for many of the "daytime" hours. Since the Sun never rises, the comet is visible almost all "day" long.

    However, if one went too far north (near the north pole, say), neither the Sun nor the comet rose. The comet was never visible. This is shown in the bottom diagram.
     
  7. Jan 19, 2007 #6

    turbo

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  8. Jan 19, 2007 #7

    Jorrie

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    Not quite -9 any more!

    It may have gone to mag -9, but then it was so close to the Sun that the glory was lost...

    Here in the southern parts of our planet, it is still pretty special - I watched it tonight (19th) at about 19:30 local time and I guess the magnitude as -3 or so. Position was about 20 degrees south of Venus and at roughly the same elevation as Venus.

    Jorrie
     
  9. Jan 19, 2007 #8
    I must avoid seeing pictures and reading threads on this comet. I really feel left out. :cry:
     
  10. Jan 19, 2007 #9

    russ_watters

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    I don't think it did, but it was brighter than Venus (-4) by quite a bit apparently. It would have to be to be visible during the day.
    Yeah, too bad I don't have a couple thousand dollars sitting around to fly down to Sydney...
     
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