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Thread: A little bit of 'Oooh!...aaahh!'

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    Default A little bit of 'Oooh!...aaahh!'

    Comet adds touch of magic to evening skies over NZ
    Tuesday January 16, 2007
    By Errol Kiong

    Twilight will be a bit more magical this week with the appearance of one of the brightest comets seen over New Zealand in years.

    After dazzling astronomy buffs in the Northern Hemisphere last week, Comet McNaught is doing the same for their counterparts south of the equator.

    Visible even with the naked eye during the daytime, McNaught is already generating a buzz among local enthusiasts, who went comet-spotting on Sunday.

    Stardome Observatory astronomer Grant Christie said it was estimated to be the second brightest comet since records began in 1935. The brightest was Comet West in 1975.

    "People have seen it in daylight so far, which is quite remarkable."

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    Default Re: A little bit of 'Oooh!...aaahh!'

    Photos: Comet mistaken for plane in fiery plunge
    Friday January 19, 2007
    By James Ihaka


    The McNaught Comet seen from Dunedin. Photo / Dave Curtis

    The Fire Service and police around the country received calls last night from people mistaking Comet McNaught for an object falling from the sky.

    "One person in Welcome Bay called and said they saw something falling from the sky and another near Waiuku said they thought a plane was on fire," said Fire Service communications centre spokeswoman Leah Denton.

    A police spokeswoman in Wellington confirmed they had also received calls from "people who were wondering what was happening".

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    Default Re: A little bit of 'Oooh!...aaahh!'

    Wow amazing!

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    Default Re: A little bit of 'Oooh!...aaahh!'

    Surely someone must have seen it? [smiley=102.gif]

    A white geyser in the sky
    By BRENDAN WEBB and COLIN PATTERSON - The Dominion Post | Saturday, 20 January 2007

    Stargazers can look forward to at least another week of Comet McNaught's stunning light show.

    The comet has offered stargazers about an hour's viewing soon after dusk and at times has been bright enough to be seen during daylight. For the next few days it will also be visible in the early morning sky. It is expected to fade by the end of this month as it moves out of the solar system.

    It is now about 124 million kilometres from Earth, veering away from the sun. It reached its closest point to the sun - 25 million km - last Saturday.

    "It's the brightest comet in 70 to 100 years and it's beginning to look spectacular," astronomer Richard Hall said. It was brighter then the planet Venus.

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    Mother Bear

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    Default Re: A little bit of 'Oooh!...aaahh!'

    Space spectacular runs until end of month
    11:33AM Monday January 22, 2007
    By James Ihaka ?



    A balcony in Ngunguru, Northland, was a perfect place to capture the comet. Reader Peter Taylor opened his Canon EOS 350D to f5.6 for 30 seconds to get this shot.

    The comet that has stunned star gazers into silence blazing across the skies is now promising an even more spectacular sight.

    This week, Comet McNaught will provide a dramatic glimpse of its tail, which is about 30 million kilometres long, about one-fifth of the distance between Earth and the sun.

    Dr Grant Christie, an astronomer at the Stardome Observatory at One Tree Hill, said the tail was caused by a combination of pressure from sunlight and the comet's motion.

    He said the only reason the tail could be seen was because it was being illuminated by the sun.

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    Mother Bear

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