Saturday, January 20, 2007

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No it's Comet McNaught which was discovered by Australian astronomer Robert McNaught on August 7 last year. He discovered the then faint comet on a photograph taken at the Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales. On January 13, its orbit takes the comet within a distance of 25.4 million km or one sixth the distance of the Earth from the Sun.

The comet is going to be visible in the Southern Hemisphere for a few more days yet. I'd love to see it with my own eyes but I live inland and have issues with buildings impairing my view not to mention very crappy weather of late so I will have to content myself do with these terrific photos my brother took in Wellington a night or so ago.

This is the first picture "autocorrected" with my pathetic computer photo editing program. Isn't it pretty?


Lis said...

That is quite pretty, indeed. I've never heard of this comet. Course I haven't heard of many comets - hee! Your brother took some excellent pictures - thanks for sharing :D

Barbara said...

I didn't realise we could see it in NZ. My family in Australia can see it from there beach.

Catherine said...

I don't think inland matters. Some of the people at Symposium said they saw it from their motel. I tried on Saturday night but I didn't spot it - guess the cloud was in the wrong place when I was looking. Every other night seemed to be completely cloudy. My husband got good photos in Christchurch, when the cloud lifted for a short time. Maybe we will have another clear night before it fades from sight, but I'm not hopeful.