NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection
Comets grow bright when they're close to the Sun, basking [ http://antwrp.gsfc. ] in the intense solar radiation. Of course, they're also usually impossible to see against [ http://www.wonderqu ] the overwhelming scattered sunlight [ http://math.ucr.edu General/BlueSky/blue_sky.html ]. But surprising Comet McNaught - whose January 12 closest approach to the Sun (perihelion [ http://www.windows. link=/physical_science/physics/mechanics/orbit/ perihelion_aphelion.html&edu=high ] passage) was well inside the orbit [ http://www.shadowan ] of Mercury - gave an enjoyable performance [ http://www.spacewea gallery_mcnaught_page7.htm ] in bright blue daytime skies. In fact, comet expert David Levy captured this remarkable inset (upper left) telescopic view of McNaught within an hour of perihelion, with the comet in broad daylight only about 7 degrees away from the Sun's position [ http://sohowww.nasc ]. Stefan Seip's wider daytime view [ http://www.photomee 070113b_d.htm ] of the comet and fluffy clouds was recorded approximately a day later. Seip used a polarizing filter and a telescope/camera set up near Stuttgart, Germany. No longer visible in broad daylight, Comet McNaught [ http://en.wikipedia ] is now touring twilight southern skies [ http://www.yp-conne ].
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