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Encyclopedia > Comet McNaught
 This article documents a current event.
Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.
C/2006 P1 (McNaught)
Comet McNaught as seen from Swift's Creek, Victoria, Australia on 23 January 2007
Comet McNaught as seen from Swift's Creek, Victoria, Australia on 23 January 2007
Discovery
Discovery date: August 7, 2006
Alternate designations: C/2006 P1, Comet McNaught, Great Comet of 2007
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch: 2454113.2961 (January 20, 2007)
Perihelion distance: 0.17075400 AU
Semi-major axis: -5681.10388683 AU
Eccentricity: 1.00003006
Inclination: 77.82768004°
Last perihelion: January 12, 2007
Next perihelion (predicted): N/A

Comet McNaught, the brightest comet in over 40 years, also known as the Great Comet of 2007 and given the designation C/2006 P1, is a non-periodic comet discovered on August 7, 2006 by British-Australian astronomer Robert H. McNaught.[1] It made perihelion on January 12, 2007, and became easily visible to the naked eye for observers in the Southern Hemisphere. Image File history File links Current_event_marker. ... Comet McNaught may refer to: C/2006 P1, the Great Comet of 2007 C/1987 U3 (a. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1600x1067, 309 KB) Comet P1 McNaught, taken from Swifts Creek, Victoria, Australia at approx 10:10 pm. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1600x1067, 309 KB) Comet P1 McNaught, taken from Swifts Creek, Victoria, Australia at approx 10:10 pm. ... August 7 is the 219th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (220th in leap years), with 146 days remaining. ... -1... Provisional designation of in astronomy is the naming convention applied to astronomical objects immediately following their discovery. ... In astronomy, an epoch is a moment in time for which celestial coordinates or orbital elements are specified. ... January 20 is the 20th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... This article is about several astronomical terms (apogee & perigee, aphelion & perihelion, generic equivalents based on apsis, and related but rarer terms. ... The semi-major axis of an ellipse In geometry, the term semi-major axis (also semimajor axis) is used to describe the dimensions of ellipses and hyperbolae. ... The astronomical unit (AU or au or a. ... In astrodynamics, under standard assumptions any orbit must be of conic section shape. ... Inclination in general is the angle between a reference plane and another plane or axis of direction. ... January 12 is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... Non-periodic comets are seen on only one occasion. ... Comet Hale-Bopp Comet McNaught as seen from Swifts Creek, Victoria, Australia on 23 January 2007 A comet is a small body in the solar system that orbits the Sun and (at least occasionally) exhibits a coma (or atmosphere) and/or a tail â€” both primarily from the effects of... August 7 is the 219th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (220th in leap years), with 146 days remaining. ... -1... An astronomer or astrophysicist is a person whose area of interest is astronomy or astrophysics. ... Robert H. McNaught is an Australian astronomer at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the Australian National University. ... This article is about several astronomical terms (apogee & perigee, aphelion & perihelion, generic equivalents based on apsis, and related but rarer terms. ... January 12 is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... The naked eye is a figure of speech referring to human visual perception that is unaided by enhancing equipment, such as a telescope or binoculars. ... The Southern Hemisphere is the half of a planets surface (or celestial sphere) that is south of the equator (the word hemisphere literally means half ball). On Earth it contains five continents (Antarctica, Australia, most of South America, parts of Africa and Asia) as well as four oceans (South...

Contents

History

Soon after confirmation of the discovery, Southern hemisphere observers began following the comet to refine the description of its orbit. From August through November 2006, the comet was imaged and tracked as it moved through Ophiuchus and Scorpius, giving an estimated brightness as high as magnitude +9, still too dim to be seen with the unaided eye.[2]. Then, for most of December, the comet was lost in the glare of the sun. The Southern Hemisphere is the half of a planets surface (or celestial sphere) that is south of the equator (the word hemisphere literally means half ball). On Earth it contains five continents (Antarctica, Australia, most of South America, parts of Africa and Asia) as well as four oceans (South... Ophiuchus (IPA: ), sometimes referred to as Serpentarius (IPA: ), both meaning serpent-holder, is one of the 88 constellations, and was also one of the 48 listed by Ptolemy. ... Scorpius (Latin for scorpion, symbol , Unicode ♏) is one of the constellations of the zodiac. ... // Headline text HEY!! HOW ARE YOU ALL?? Its nice of you to come read this page. ... The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. ...


Upon recovery in late December, it became apparent that the comet was brightening rapidly, reaching naked-eye visibility in early January 2007. It was visible in the northern hemisphere near Venus, in Sagittarius and surrounding constellations, until about 13 January 2007. Perihelion (closest approach to the sun) was 12 January 2007 at a distance of 0.17 AU.[3] This was close enough to the Sun to be observed by the space-based Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). The comet entered SOHO's LASCO C3 camera's field of view 12 January 2007, and was viewable on the web in near real-time. The comet exited SOHO's field of view on 16 January 2007. Due to its proximity to the sun, the Northern Hemisphere ground-based viewers had a short window for viewing, and the comet could be spotted only during bright twilight, immediately after sunset. Adjectives: Venusian or (rarely) Cytherean Atmosphere Surface pressure: 9. ... For the astrological sign, see Sagittarius (astrology). ... January 13 is the 13th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... This article is about several astronomical terms (apogee & perigee, aphelion & perihelion, generic equivalents based on apsis, and related but rarer terms. ... January 12 is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... The astronomical unit (AU or au or a. ... The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a spacecraft that was launched on 2 December 1995 to study the Sun, and began normal operations in May 1996. ... The field of view is the part of the observable world that is seen at any given moment. ... January 12 is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web (WWW or simply the Web) is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents that runs over the Internet. ... January 16 is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ...

The orbit (green) of Comet McNaught on 14 January 2007 and the four orbits (orange) of the inner planets. Earth is the blue dot on the right. The Milky Way can be seen on the lower left. The comet orbits clockwise.
The orbit (green) of Comet McNaught on 14 January 2007 and the four orbits (orange) of the inner planets. Earth is the blue dot on the right. The Milky Way can be seen on the lower left. The comet orbits clockwise.

As it reached perihelion on January 12, it became the brightest comet since Comet Ikeya-Seki in 1965.[4] The comet was dubbed the Great Comet of 2007 by Space.com.[5] On January 13 and 14, 2007, the comet attained an estimated maximum apparent magnitude of -6.0, as reported by several observers in the Northern hemisphere.[3] Image File history File links Mcnaught_orbit. ... Image File history File links Mcnaught_orbit. ... In physics, an orbit is the path that an object makes, around another object, whilst under the influence of a source of centripetal force, such as gravity. ... January 14 is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... Adjectives: Terrestrial, Terran, Telluric, Tellurian, Earthly Atmosphere Surface pressure: 101. ... The Milky Way (a translation of the Latin Via Lactea, in turn derived from the Greek Γαλαξίας (Galaxias), sometimes referred to simply as the Galaxy), is a barred spiral galaxy of the Local Group. ... January 12 is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Comet Ikeya-Seki (C/1965 S1) was a comet discovered independently by Kaoru Ikeya and Tsutomu Seki. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... Great Comet West in 1976 A Great Comet is a comet which becomes particularly bright and spectacular. ... January 13 is the 13th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... // Headline text HEY!! HOW ARE YOU ALL?? Its nice of you to come read this page. ... The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planets surface (or celestial sphere) that is north of the equator (the word hemisphere literally means half ball). On the Earth, the Northern Hemisphere contains most of the land and about 88-90% of the human population. ...

Comet McNaught in broad daylight while it was visible by naked eye. Taken on 13 January at 14:00 UTC in Gais/Switzerland.
Comet McNaught in broad daylight while it was visible by naked eye. Taken on 13 January at 14:00 UTC in Gais/Switzerland.

The comet was visible in daylight about 5°- 10° southeast of the sun from January 12 to 14, with a peak brightness of magnitude -5.5.[6] Perigee (closest approach to the Earth) was 15 January 2007, at a distance of 0.82 AU.[7] Image File history File links Mcnaught_daylight20070113. ... Image File history File links Mcnaught_daylight20070113. ... January 13 is the 13th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... January 12 is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Perigee is the point at which an object in orbit around the Earth makes its closest approach to the Earth. ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ...


After passing the sun, Comet McNaught became visible in the Southern hemisphere. In Australia, according to Siding Spring Observatory at Coonabarabran, where the comet was discovered, it was to have reached its theoretical peak in brightness on Sunday, 14 January 2007 just after sunset,[8] when it would have been visible for 23 minutes after sunset.[1] On 15 January 2007 the comet was observed at Perth Observatory with an estimated apparent magnitude of -4.0.[3] Siding Spring Observatory, Coonabarabran, Australia. ... Coonabarabran, a town in northern New South Wales, Australia, has about 3000 inhabitants and was established in the 1850s. ... January 14 is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... The Perth Observatory is located in Western Australia, Australia. ...


Current viewing

The comet remains visible to Southern Hemisphere observers in both the morning and evening sky where it entered the constellation Microscopium on 18 January and is forecast to fade rapidly and drop below 6th magnitude by 9 February. [9] As of 23 January the comet is clearly visible to southern observers in the western sky after sunset, near to the horizon, and left of Venus. It is so bright that its tail can be easily seen in twilight even from light-polluted urban locations in the Southern Hemisphere. The length of the tail is approximately that of a hand's length as seen with an outstretched arm. It may be possible to see portions of the tail from very dark locations in the Northern Hemisphere that are near the equator. By the 11th of February the Comet now much fainter was still clearly visible to the naked eye under clear dark skies and is is circumpolar in the southern Australian States.[10] The comet is now very faint, and has dropped below 6th magnitude, only visible with binoculars from very dark, clear locations. The Southern Hemisphere is the half of a planets surface (or celestial sphere) that is south of the equator (the word hemisphere literally means half ball). On Earth it contains five continents (Antarctica, Australia, most of South America, parts of Africa and Asia) as well as four oceans (South... Categories: Astronomy stubs | Modern constellations | Constellations ... January 18 is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... February 9 is the 40th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... January 23 is the 23rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This time exposure photo of New York City shows sky glow, one form of light pollution. ... The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planets surface (or celestial sphere) that is north of the equator (the word hemisphere literally means half ball). On the Earth, the Northern Hemisphere contains most of the land and about 88-90% of the human population. ... World map showing the equator in red The Equator is an imaginary circle drawn around a planet (or other astronomical object) at a distance halfway between the poles. ...


Image gallery

References and footnotes

  1. ^ Report on the comet discovery and progress from Robert McNaught's homepage. Retrieved on 2007-01-17.
  2. ^ Kronk's Cometography - C/2006P1. Retrieved on 2007-01-17.
  3. ^ a b c Recent Comet Brightness Estimates
  4. ^ Brightest comets seen since 1935. Harvard. Retrieved on 2007-01-12.
  5. ^ The Great Comet of 2007: Watch it on the Web Yahoo News, January by Joe Rao of SPACE.com Skywatching Columnist. Accessed 16 January 2007
  6. ^ According to reports on spaceweather.com
  7. ^ Southern Comets Homepage. Retrieved on 2007-01-17.
  8. ^ Siding Spring Survey
  9. ^ P1 magnitude plot accessdate = 2007-01-22
  10. ^ SkyTonight.com - Comet Tail Still Visible Up North

2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... January 17 is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... January 17 is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... January 12 is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... January 16 is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... January 17 is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

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