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Author Topic: Comet in southern hemisphere  (Read 6304 times)
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« on: January 24, 2007, 07:21:40 AM »

Giant comet lights up skies
Catherine Boyle in Australia




A comet discovered by a Scottish astronomer has transformed southern hemisphere skies this week.

Thousands of people have gathered in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and South Africa to watch Comet McNaught, the brightest comet seen from Earth in more than 40 years. It is one of very few comets that can be seen by the naked eye in daylight and is around 140 million kilometres (87 million miles) from the Earth.

The comet consists of a head bigger than Mount Everest and a tail that stretches 30 million kilometres into space.

The man who spotted the comet, Robert McNaught, 50, originally from Prestwick, Ayrshire, was working at Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales when he first saw it last August.

It is so bright that some people in Auckland contacted the emergency services fearing that a plane had fallen out of the sky.


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