Detail View: NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection: McNaught's Matinee

Title: 
McNaught's Matinee
Explanation: 
Comets grow bright when they're close to the Sun, basking [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap020111.html ] in the intense solar radiation. Of course, they're also usually impossible to see against [ http://www.wonderquest.com/daylight-stars.htm ] the overwhelming scattered sunlight [ http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/ General/BlueSky/blue_sky.html ]. But surprising Comet McNaught - whose January 12 closest approach to the Sun (perihelion [ http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/ link=/physical_science/physics/mechanics/orbit/ perihelion_aphelion.html&edu=high ] passage) was well inside the orbit [ http://www.shadowandsubstance.com/ ] of Mercury - gave an enjoyable performance [ http://www.spaceweather.com/comets/ 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.nascom.nasa.gov/hotshots/ ]. Stefan Seip's wider daytime view [ http://www.photomeeting.de/astromeeting/comets/ 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.org/wiki/Comet_McNaught ] is now touring twilight southern skies [ http://www.yp-connect.net/~mmatti/ ].
Credit and Copyright: 
Stefan Seip [ http://www.photomeeting.de/astromeeting/_index.htm ] - Inset: David Levy [ http://www.jarnac.org/ ]
facet_where: 
Germany
facet_what: 
COMETS
original url: 
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap070119.html
UID: 
SPD-APOD-ap070119