Low Threshold For Pleasure - Al Stahaley* - Stahaleys Comet
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Last week favorably placed observers viewed a comet so brilliant that it could be seen with the naked eye in broad daylight, if the Sun was hidden behind the side of a house or even an outstretched hand. It evolved into a brilliant object as it swept past the Sun on Jan. Yet even as the comet puts on a fantastic show now in the evening sky for viewer's in the Southern Hemisphere McNaught himself produced a fantastic photograph Low Threshold For Pleasure - Al Stahaley* - Stahaleys Comet , an incredible sight is still visible to Postcards - Amber Pacific - The Possibility And The Promise observers in the Northern Hemisphere.
Paul Robinson of Boulder was credited as having realized such an image might be possible. According to reports received from a worldwide audience at the International Comet Quarterly ICQ it appears that the comet reached peak brightness on Sunday, Jan. At that time, the comet was shining at magnitude On this scale, larger numbers represent dimmer objects; the brightest stars are generally zero to first magnitude, while superbright objects such as Venus-and Comet McNaught -achieve negative magnitudes.
I determined the comet's peak magnitude by averaging out more than a dozen observations that were reported to the ICQ on Jan. Some observers, S.P.Y. - Mickey Jupp - Juppanese as Steve O'Meara, located at Volcano, Hawaii, observed McNaught in daylight and estimated a Low Threshold For Pleasure - Al Stahaley* - Stahaleys Comet as high as -6, noting.
From Jan. Was Comet McNaught the best or brightest comet ever seen? While it's true that comets that are visible with the naked eye during the daytime are rare, the case of McNaught is not unique. In the last years, it has happened seven other times:. Many textbooks often cite Philippe Loys de Cheseaux, of Lausanne, Switzerland as the discoverer, although his first sighting did not come until two weeks later.
By mid-Januarythe comet was described as 1st-magnitude with a 7-degree tail. By Feb. On Feb. Perihelion came on March 1st, at a distance of On March 6, the comet appeared in the morning sky, accompanied by six brilliant tails Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul resembled a Japanese hand fan.
It passed onlymiles from the Sun's photosphere on Feb. Although a few observations suggest that it was seen for a few weeks prior to this date, on the day when it made it closest approach to the Sun it was widely observed in full daylight.
Positioned only 1-degree from the Sun, this comet appeared as "an elongated white cloud" possessing a brilliant nucleus and a tail about 1-degree in length. Passengers on board the ship Owen Glendower, off the Cape of Good Hope described it as a "short, dagger-like object" that closely followed the Sun toward the western horizon.
In the days that followed, as the comet moved away from the Sun, it diminished in brightness but the tail grew enormouslyeventually attaining a length of million miles.
If you were able to place the head of this comet at the Sun's position, the tail would have extended beyond the orbit of the planet Mars! First spotted as a bright zero-magnitude object by a group of Italian sailors in the Southern Hemisphere on Sept.
By the 14th, it became visible in broad daylight and when it arrived at perihelion on the 17th it passed at a distance of only ,miles from the Sun's surface.
On that day, some observers described the comet's silvery radiance as scarcely fainter than the limb of the Sun, suggesting a magnitude somewhere between and ! The following day, observers in Cordoba described the comet as a "blazing star" near the Sun. The nucleus also broke into at least four separate parts. In the days and weeks that followed, the comet became visible in the morning sky as an immense object sporting a brilliant tail. Today, some comet historians consider it as a " Super Comet Various - Auteur Labels Object Music 1978-1981 far above the run of even Youve Changed - The Platters - Volume Two Comets.
Two days later, three men at a railway station in nearby Kopjes casually watched the object for minutes before sunrise, assuming that it was Halley's Comet. Later that morning, the editor of the local Johannesburg newspaper telephoned the Transvaal Observatory for a comment. The observatory's Director, Robert Innes, must have initially thought this sighting was a mistake, since Halley's Comet was not in that part of the sky and nowhere near as conspicuous. Innes looked for the comet the following morning, but clouds thwarted his view.
But on the morning of the 17th, he and an assistant saw the comet, shining sedately on the horizon just Low Threshold For Pleasure - Al Stahaley* - Stahaleys Comet where the Sun was about to rise. Later, at midday, Innes viewed it as a snowy-white object, brighter than Venus, several degrees from the Sun.
He sent Life In Forms - Various - Speed Kills.But Whos Dying? a telegram alerting the world to expect "Drake's Comet"-for so "Great Comet" sounded to the telegraph operator. It was visible during the daytime for a couple of more days, then moved northward and away from the Sun, becoming a stupendous object in the evening sky for the rest of January for the Northern Hemisphere.
Ironically, many people in who thought they had seen Halley's Comet, instead likely saw the Great January Comet that appeared about three months before Halley. The orbital geometry was such, that the approaching comet could not be seen in a dark sky at any time from either the Northern or the Southern Hemisphere. But it reached tremendous magnitude at perihelion on Dec. Located at a distance of As the comet moved out of the twilight and headed south into darker skies, it faded rapidly, but still threw off an impressively long tail that reached up to degrees in length by the end of the month.
The comet was then visible as a brilliant object within a degree or two of the Sun, and wherever the sky was clear, the comet could be seen by observers merely by blocking out the Sun with their hands. From Japan, the homeland of the observers who discovered it, Ikeya-Seki was described as appearing "ten times brighter than the Full Moon" corresponding to a magnitude of Also at that time, the nucleus was observed to break into two or three pieces.
Thereafter, the comet moved away in full retreat from the Sun, the head fading very rapidly but its slender, twisted tailreaching out into space for up to 75 million miles, and dominating the eastern morning sky right on through the month of November.
Seventeen hours after passing within In the days that followed, Comet West displayed a brilliant head and a long, strongly structured tail that resembled " a fantastic fountain of light. Viewers in the Southern Hemisphere will now have Comet McNaught pretty much all to themselves in the days ahead. It should continue to be a striking object in the west-southwest sky as darkness falls.
If a parallel can drawn between Comet McNaught and any of the above-mentioned comets, it's that it should gradually fade as it moves away from both the Earth and Sun. As we have previously noted, new comets can be notoriously unpredictable to forecast, but it appears now that McNaught should be shining somewhere between magnitude 0 and 2 on Jan. Although the comet is fading as it moves higher into the sky and sets progressively later, its tail should appear to impressively lengthen.
Amazingly, the end of the tail called the "terminus" has been glimpsed as far north as Colorado; the multiple streamers protruding above the southwest horizon resemble faint auroral rays in binoculars.
It should, in fact, appear at its longest this upcoming week-before the increasing brightness of Low Threshold For Pleasure - Al Stahaley* - Stahaleys Comet waxing Moon begins to compromise the view.
Skywatchers should look for two tails. The one appearing slender and straight and pointing Low Threshold For Pleasure - Al Stahaley* - Stahaleys Comet directly upward from the horizon, will be due to gas, while the other, appearing as broad and gentle curving fan is composed of dust expelled from the comet's head and made visible by reflected sunlight.
Without doubt, however, Comet McNaught's performance will stand as one of the most spectacular in recent years. For those fortunate enough to have seen it, it will always be a comet to remember.
Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community space. The comet's show is mostly over for those North of the equator.
What's next for Comet McNaught?