Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1)

After first seeing Comet McNaught two nights ago from a beach in Adelaide (Australia) with my son Nicholas, my wife Karen and I had a great view of it tonight from suburban Adelaide (after the kids were in bed) starting at around 8:55 pm, eventually peering through a gap in a neighbour’s fence to see it for as long as possible low on the horizon.

The tail was striking whether to the naked eye or in 7×50 binoculars. One particularly beautiful moment was when the coma emerged from under a thin bank of passing cloud, appearing brighter than before and orange-hued.

Comets Hale-Bopp (1997) and Hyakutake (1996) were impressive, but McNaught is something else, truly deserving of being placed in the Great Comet category.

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