Comet McNaught says Goodbye

The comet McNaught and the Milky Way (see the photo in its original size on the NASA website)Lately I wanted to say a couple of words about the comet McNaught. What decided me finally was this extraordinary photo, published on the 12th of February on the APOD website (click the thumbnail to see it in its original size). The shot was taken in New Zealand, at the end of January. You can also see part of the Milky Way – our home:)

This comet was called by many “the most photogenic comet of our time” и “the great comet of 2007”, and not without a reason.

The comet McNaught and its long tail - see the photo in full size on the NASA websiteNow the comet moves away from the Sun and the Earth, but it still can be seen in the Southern hemisphere. Not a long ago was published a photo in which the tail of the comet stretched on almost the whole Southern sky – its lenghth was 150 million kilometres, or approx. 1 astronomical unit (AU)!

You should also see one incredible montage from 3 photographs of the photographer Antti Kemppainen!

Enough about Space for today… Now I go to the window – it’s true that the comet cannot be seen anymore from our latitude, but I can at least wave to it with my hand, right? :-)

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Note: The Astronomy Picture of the Day, supported by NASA, is a very valuable resource – on this website every day is published one photograph or image/illustraion of our Universe, together with a short explanation by a professional astronomer. Some photos, especially those made by the Hubble telescope, littereally can take your breath away with its beauty and depth… and they make you realise, how small we are, people:-) I visit it often – there’s always something to see and discover:-)

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