|Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1) - Reports and Photos|
|Comet McNaught has turned out to be the Great Comet of 2007. It has grown a long and spectacular tail which spreads great distances across the sky. It is visible to Southern Hemisphere observers just after sunset but for a time was also visible from the Northern hemisphere. The first image below was taken by the discoverer on Saturday 20th January from Siding Springs Observatory in Australia using a Canon 5D with 50mm lens at f/2. This was a 50 second exposure at ISO 640. The image is reproduced here by kind permission of R.H.McNaught.|
|The second image
(right) was taken by Stephen James O'Meara on 19th January at the 7,000
foot level of Mauna Loa Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. Steve
used a Canon 20D camera fitted with 35mm lens at f/3.5 and ISO
1600. This is a 46 second exposure.
Steve's report, to Barbara Wilson in Houston, Texas went as follows: "What I saw was 8 to 10 synchrones in a dark sky with the comet below the horizon. They spanned an arc some 35˚ across. I'll have to measure more precisely with the stars I recorded, but unbelievable. Totally blew me away. It was like seeing 8 to 10 comets with tails all at once! The tallest synchrones were 20˚ in extent." This image is reproduced here by kind permission of Stephen J O'Meara.
|This last image is a composite which was conceived by Barbara Wilson and colour-blended/star matched in Photoshop by Paul Downing. Barbara's goal was to show the full extent of the comet since Steve's was taken from Hawaii and Rob's from Australia. The final composite shows quite well the extent of the dust tail visible in both northern and southern hemispheres.|