Melbournians Finally had a Go on Catching Comet McNaught

January 24, 2007 at 5:33 am 2 comments

Since the beginning of the year, it had been numerous predictions & sitings in the Northern hemisphere that comet McNaught (C/2006 P1) would be a very bright one, and it was confirmed last week that this comet was the second brightest one since 1935. People living in the Southern half of the world couldn’t watch it until, in theory, the 13th of January. Unfortunately, Melbourne only had clear sky on the 13th & 14th, which weren’t the best time as the comet was too close to the horizon & the sun.  Even though I had had experience on observing comets, I could only manage to see it on the 14th for a couple of minutes and it was very faint. Then Melbourne became smokey (because of bushfires from the alpines in the east) the next day & I rushed so far away to the Grampians ranges after work hoping for a chance to spot it better at higher altitudes. But it was still smokey there & the comet was still faint because of the smokey air, though I tried to take a couple of
photos (which turned out to be plain rubbish). Then the low pressure trough came in on the following days with lots of clouds & rain for the rest of the week until the day before (the 22nd) … finally… it was Melbourne’s turn to watch this spectacular comet. Although it was running late & the comet was leaving us, the most spectacular days seemed to lie between the 18th and 22nd, where the super-long aurora like dust tail could be clearly seen in the dark sky. We the Melbournians managed to just make it to the last day. I was one of the lucky guys to capture this on Mt Donna Buang the day before.
Comet McNaught C/2006 P1, Mt Donna Buang, Victoria, Australia Comet McNaught C/2006 P1, Mt Donna Buang, Victoria, Australia
When I re-visited the site again yesterday (the 23rd), a large part of the dust tail faded away. The moon gradually brightened up and stayed away from the horizon day after day, contributing light pollution to the dark sky.

More photos are on the way. Stay tuned.


Entry filed under: astronomy, comet, McNaught, Photography.

More Comet McNaught Photos…

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. scottbenjamin  |  January 27, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Brilliant photos!!

    What camera do you use? I’m a hobbyist photograph (in training as always) and I’m curious to see which equipment you use.

    Being persisitent does help when seeing something as beautiful as McNaught, though I haven’t yet been able to see it.

  • 2. berrynose  |  January 27, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    You’re welcome, scottbenjamin! I used my ancient Mamiya to shoot these. 🙂


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