Behold Comet McNaught! (or possibly Venus)

By 22 January 2007 28

Mad Kiwi stood on top of Mount Arawang, between Chapman and Kambah, yesterday at sunset and captured the comet (I have cropped his photo to add emphasis).

Curse Hollywood for creating overblown expectations of celestial events!

UPDATED: We’ve had two reports that the comet put on a big show last night, so it might be worth giving it another go.

Note: The possible comet picture here was from last week.

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28 Responses to
Behold Comet McNaught! (or possibly Venus)
jr 8:26 am
16 Jan 07

hmmm Are you sure it is a comet? It looks like a couple of dead pixels on the camera… :-P

Jey 8:28 am
16 Jan 07

So, like, it’s that white dot there?
Cool :s

captainwhorebags 8:30 am
16 Jan 07

I saw that too but I thought it was Venus. My understanding was that the McNaught was much much closer to the Sun, hence all the warnings about viewing it with the naked eye.

mad_kiwi 8:39 am
16 Jan 07

i assumed it was venus too, it could well be, didnt know there was a comet till i read about it this morning, great sunset though

Al 8:56 am
16 Jan 07


Ralph 9:02 am
16 Jan 07


haroldbeagle 9:07 am
16 Jan 07

Nope. Not the comet. Definitely Venus. With the haze that was present, the comet was only visible with binoculars or a ‘scope.

Check out Ice In Space for details of when and where to see it.

poptop 9:23 am
16 Jan 07

The guys in the northern hemisphere seem to have received a far better show than us – there are photos of it being visible during the day and looking quite the hollywood comet at night.

As it is almost Canberra’s own comet, you would thing Dr McNaught could have organised things better.

Thumper 9:26 am
16 Jan 07

Not quite end of the world sort of stuff is it?

I don’t think it would have worried the dinosaurs much…

VYBerlinaV8_now with 10:42 am
16 Jan 07

VYBerlinaV8_now with 10:44 am
16 Jan 07

Mr Evil 11:42 am
16 Jan 07

Canberra’s Comet looks about as bright and visible as Canberra’s Star Hayley Jensen!

Absent Diane 11:57 am
16 Jan 07

I don’t know if anyone saw but there was heaps of shooting stars on friday night… didn’t quite make up for the massive shooting star storm that never eventuated a few months ago.. but was still quite good.

The Drewster 12:30 pm
16 Jan 07

Halleys comet was a blue smudge, this one was a white dot. Can not wait for the next one.

LlamaFrog 8:43 pm
16 Jan 07

not happy people, did anybody see anything other then a dot that may have been venus?

shauno 9:14 pm
16 Jan 07

Its suppose to be about 5 degrees away from the sun so about a hands width away from the sun as you look at it. Can be seen in day light apparently if you block the sun with your hand or view it so the sun is behind a mountain or whatever. Its also suppose to be about 18 times brighter the Venus which is in that image above.

haroldbeagle 10:00 am
17 Jan 07


Due to the haze, you would have needed binoculars to see it last night (assuming you got a gap in the clouds). I’ve managed to spot it (with binos) both Monday and Tuesday evenings, a little after 8pm (the sky is too bright before then due to the sun).

As well as the Ice In Space site I’ve linked to above, you might find the chart at this site useful.Siding Spring.

Sadly, it is fading fast, so try and see it as soon as you can.

Ralph 7:52 am
22 Jan 07

Was spectacular last night after sunset. I saw it only by chance and was gobsmacked. It was clearly visible with the naked eye and a very long tail on it.

I think the crescent moon also low in the western sky after sunset is making it more visible.

seepi 9:45 am
22 Jan 07

It was amazing last night – the tail was huge – about twice the length of the moon – or more.

Snarky 10:39 am
22 Jan 07

Saturday night the comet was spectacular from the road up to Stromlo – it looked like this! The tail covered a 15-20 degree arc of sky. I’ve never seen anything like it – Halleys comet didn’t rate against this. Wish I had a decent camera :-(

blingblingbears 10:40 am
22 Jan 07

it was awesome last week on Tues night… i will upload some pics when i bother getting them off the camera

Xanthomyza 11:14 am
22 Jan 07

last two nights were awesome. you cannot miss it. best to have little light so try somewhere like stromlo. I was on William Hovell Dve just south of higgins.

VYBerlinaV8_now with 11:25 am
22 Jan 07

Saw the comment last night by chance when I was putting the bins out – it was an unbelievable view. The tail was huge, and spread out across much of the sky, and the point was very bright. Fantastic – vastly better than Halley’s.

seepi 11:28 am
22 Jan 07

Yes – we only saw it by chance too – it is unmissable. 9.30 seemed to be a good time for it. We could see it from the front yard, down low-ish on the horizon.

Sammy 11:36 am
22 Jan 07

Here is a photo taken in New Zealand.

KandyA 12:27 pm
22 Jan 07

thats venus – the comet’s tail was clearly visible to the naked eye last night, although it was kinda lame. However: was much easier to spot than Halley’s comet

Al 1:19 pm
22 Jan 07

It was brilliant last night. Just happened to see it at 9.30 before and ripped off one picture before it dipped below trees. But the tail went straight up to about 45 degrees.
So how do I upload the picture?
It doesn’t look as good as the links here, but it came out OK considering I had to just point approx where I thought it was and shoot.

johnboy 1:25 pm
22 Jan 07

Email it to (max 550 pixels down the longest edge) and I’ll take care of it.

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