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All observing logs mentioning comet McNaught

2007-01-11


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-11 17:00 UT
To: 2007-01-11 17:10 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Meade 10x50 Binoculars
Temperature: 9.3C ...
Dew Point: 3.4C ...
Humidity: 67% ...
Wind Speed: 5.5mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1000.9hPa ...
Notes:

Very windy evening, very murky sky too with quite a bit of cloud around. Despite this I decided to take another walk to the western edge of the village to try and catch a glimpse of comet McNaught.

Comet C/2006 P1 McNaught

From: 2007-01-11 17:00 UT
To: 2007-01-11 17:10 UT

Unlike yesterday evening, McNaught wasn't visible to me during the walk out to the observing spot. It wasn't until I got to the spot that I caught sight of it. It was much harder to find this evening. I doubt it was much, if anything, to do with the brightness of the comet itself, it was probably down to the fact that the atmosphere was horribly murky and there was quite a bit of cloud along the horizon.

The view to the naked eye was nowhere near as impressive as the last view, if anything I'd have said that the view in the binocular was closer to yesterday evening's naked eye view.

I managed to view the comet for getting on for 10 minutes but then totally lost it while I was looking away. Looking back again I failed to find the head or any hint of the tail (probably lost behind some cloud).

In comparison to yesterday's view I'd say this one was disappointing, but that's just because yesterday's view spoiled me. Had this been my first view of it I think I'd have been equally impressed.

Again, given how short a time I had to view it no real attempt was made to take any kind of "technical" notes.


2007-01-10


Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-10 13:00 UT
To: 2007-01-10 13:05 UT
Equipment: Solarscope
Naked Eye
Temperature: 8.4C ...
Dew Point: 4.0C ...
Humidity: 74% ...
Wind Speed: 8.8mph ...
Wind Dir: West ...
Pressure: 1004.1hPa ...
Notes:

Clear but windy day. Took the Solarscope out to do a quick sunspot count.

Sun

From: 2007-01-10 13:00 UT
To: 2007-01-10 13:05 UT

Three active areas visible today. Active area 933 had two visible spots (1 very small). Area 935 had 1 large spot. New area 937 also had 1 small spot visible.

The large spot in area 935 was just visible to the naked eye.

Location: Billingborough (South Lincolnshire, UK)
From: 2007-01-10 17:00 UT
To: 2007-01-10 17:20 UT
Equipment: Naked Eye
Meade 10x50 Binoculars
Temperature: 6.4C ...
Dew Point: 2.2C ...
Humidity: 75% ...
Wind Speed: 0.8mph ...
Wind Dir: South West ...
Pressure: 1010.5hPa ...
Notes:

Clear but breezy evening. Decided to talk a walk to the western edge of the village to try and catch a glimpse of comet McNaught.

Comet C/2006 P1 McNaught

From: 2007-01-10 17:00 UT
To: 2007-01-10 17:20 UT

Joined by my wife and son, I took a walk out to the western edge of our village with a hope of catching a glimpse of comet McNaught. This was the first chance I'd had due to bad weather during previous mornings and evenings. Not being sure what to expect (I guess I was expecting something small and fuzzy, probably needing a binocular to find before seeing with the naked eye) I went armed with the Meade 10x50 binoculars.

As we were walking something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. Through some trees I could see the comet. It was huge and bright! Much bigger and brighter than I'd expected. We carried on to the chosen viewing position (looking out over a field with a reasonably clear horizon).

By the time we got to the chosen location I'd say that the comet was about above the horizon (just a rough guess). The head was very bright and I estimated the tail to be about 1 to 2 widths of my thumb held at arms length. It's hard to estimate how bright the head was but, had it been higher, I'd have thought that (taking its diffuse nature into account) it would have been a reasonable rival to Venus (which was visible further to the south). That's not to say it was as bright, just that it probably would be almost as obvious. Some people have been estimating its magnitude as -2.

Beyond the above I didn't really make a note of any "technical" details, time was too short and the sight was just too breathtaking. This is the first big, bright comet I've seen in almost 10 years and it was hard not to just stand there and state and be amazed. My wife and son were both very excited by the view too (all the more special for my son given that this was his first ever view of a comet).

Sadly the view was all too short. Within about 10 minutes of us first seeing it the head had gone behind some trees on the horizon. I watched the tail (both naked eye and through the binocular) for a few minutes more until the view was lost to the thickness of the atmosphere so close to the horizon. It was all over by around 17:20 UT.


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Dave Pearson <davep@davep.org>
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