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  Summary: Comet McNaught swung by the Sun in mid-January 2007. Fierce solar heat turned it into the brightest comet in 40 years; for a few days it was actually visible in broad daylight! When McNaught emerged from the sun's glare into the skies of the Southern Hemisphere, the tail alone stopped traffic and was mistaken for a brush fire, an explosion, a mysterious cloud and probably many other things never reported. For photographers, it was the photo-op of a lifetime. Now Comet NcNaught is receding into the outer solar system never to return -- only the pictures remain. Enjoy the gallery!
  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Diego Meozzi,
Trevignano Romano, Italy
Jan. 12, 2007

The comet was very low on the horizon, so the tail was much less visible than the previous days. However, the clouds at sunset were spectacular!

Photo details: Nikon D200, Nikkor 300 mm lens, f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/80s

Mark Seibold,
Troutdale, Oregon.
Jan. 11, 2007

After arriving at a hilltop with a clear view of the western horizon over Portland 25 miles to the west, I could not believe I was seeng the comets nucleus and a degree or so of tail only 15 minutes after sunset with the naked eye! I have seen perhaps 2 dozen comets since my first at age 3 in 1957 (Comet Mrkos or Arend-Rolland) also including the brightest being Comet Bennet in 1970, West in 1976, Halley's in 1986, Hyakutake in 1996, Hale-Bopp in 1997 but I have never seen one this bright in daylight. Both sketches are after observing through 7 X 50 binoculars. The first sketch from 5:15 PM PST at left is the nucleus and partial tail in near daylight; the second is after the comet dropped into a deep red-orange haze by 5:35 PM PST. Mark Seibold

Harry W Wood,
west of Des Moines Iowa
Jan. 10, 2007

The comet was sliding down the sky as jet contrails crossed the sky.

Photo details: Canon 10D, 28-300 lens, f5.6, 1/2 second exposure.

Jim Fakatselis,
Taken at Robert Moses State Park, Babylon, NY
Jan. 11, 2007

An airplane taking off from nearby JFK airport jets away from NYC as does the comet from the Northern Hemisphere.

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre,
Horn Pond, Woburn, Massachusetts
Jan. 12, 2007

We first spotted the comet through binoculars about 5 minutes BEFORE sunset. The comet's head was so bright it was visible in broad daylight to the naked eye! It looked like a very bright star with a short, stubby tail. The tail's appearance was less dramatic compared to last night, owing to the comet's proximity to the Sun in the sky, which lessened the contrast between the tail and the twilight sky.

Photo details: Canon EOS 20D digital SLR camera, Takahashi FS-78 f/8 refractor; exposure time was 1/6 second at ISO 100.

Brian Whittaker,
Birmingham, England.
Jan. 10, 2007
#1, #2, more

I was amazed! The clouds parted, and there it was! The brightest Comet that I had ever seen! What a delight to see, and show the family. Everyone could see the bright tail, just like in the pictures. Best ever.

Torgeir Sorensen,
Sortland, Norway
Jan. 11, 2007
#1, #2, #3, more

Yesterday we could experience the beautiful McNaught comet in a beautiful weather here at Sortland. The last month's the weather has not been any good so it was a great luck that I got the opportunity to take these pictures of the comet in this light.

Tim Printy,
Manchester NH
Jan. 12, 2007
#1, #2

Comet McNaught has brightened greatly in the past few days. Clouds interfered the past two nights and I was fortunate to have clear weather this evening. I saw the comet with 7X50 binoculars at sunset and it was visible to the naked eye about 15 minutes later. The magnitude of the comet appeared to be about -3 and it had a tail that was about 1-2 degrees long. People in the southern hemisphere are going to get quite a show.


Photo details: Nikon D70 set at ISO 200 using a 120mm F5 refractor (600mm fl). Exposure times were 1/40 and 1/60 sec.

John E Cordiale,
Argyle, NY
Jan. 10, 2007

"I had been fighting the weather for 5 days trying to get a picture of it.

Photo details: Canon 350D, 0.4 sec exposure, 200mm Tamron Lens."

Terry Barner,
Panama City, Florida, USA
Jan. 10, 2007

Because of clouds, the comet was only seen for about one minute about 25 minutes after sunset and one needed binoculars or a telescope to see it clearly.

Photo details: Canon EOS-1 Mark II, 400mm lens, ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/100 second

more images: from Denis Boucher of St-Albert, Alberta, Canada; from Gianluca Masi and Gabriele Catanzaro of Rome, Italy; from Mark Stewart of Seattle, Washington; from Dean Forbes of Shoreline, Washington; from Jayme Hanzak of Hillsborough, North Carolina; from Steve Scudero of Berkeley Hills, California; from Peter Lyberth of Nuuk, Greenland; from Tudorica Alexandru of Magurele, near Bucharest; from Velimir Popov of Mountain Vitosha, Sofia, Bulgaria; from Grahame Robertson of West Lothian, Scotland; from Pat Boomer near Red Deer, Alberta, Canada; from Sue Nichols of Lind Coulee, Washington; from Andy Fu of Mountain View, California; from Brian Maky on Wolf Mountain Lookout near Grass Valley, California; from Dan Charrois of Legal, Alberta, Canada; from Richard Nolthenius of Santa Cruz, California; from Jeff McIntosh of Cremona, Alberta, Canada; from Tim Ratzlaff of Monroe, Washington; from Bob Norton of Albuquerque, NM; from Bob King of Duluth, Minn; from John Liddard of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, Canada.