Wednesday, January 17, 2007
McNaught's Comet - with a tail 3 million km long!
I am amazed that the McNaught Comet is visible to the naked eye here in Bakers Hill, Western Australia.
It is not much more than a pinprick in the dying evening light, but I can see its shape and actually see it moving, albeit very, very slowly as it drops towards the horizon.
What amazes me are the statistics I have read.
Just fancy, I am standing in the garden with my camera, looking up at the comet's steamy tail which could measure up to 3,000,000 kilometres in length.
I discover that the icy core is only 300 meters across, yet the fuzzy coma surrounding the ice core (which measures only 300 meters), is around 100,000 kilometers across.
Those figures are mind-boggling.
I don't know why but I expected the comet to be orange but it was pure white, its brilliant light reflected from the sun.
Photo : M Muir