C/2006 P1 (Mc Naught)
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Robert H. McNaught
on August, 7 2006.
latest IAU telegrams or the
planet center's orbital elements and Ephemeris,
the comet on
Seiichi Yoshida's Homepage,
curves on Cometas Obs,
JPL Small body
Looking back.... one day after perihelion (=2007
Jan. 12.7987UT), the closest approach to the sun
C/2006 P1 (McNaught) on January,13 2007, 16:05:33UT,
taken on the
Feldberg mountain, Germany, 1440m
by Bernhard Häusler, Germany,
coma: 45", tail: 9' in PA49
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, lens: 200mm, exposure: 1/125sec. f-6.3, ISO100, picture
processing: Lightroom CC, Photoshop CC
Situation of the exposure on the
sky: comet Alt: +03°20'56", sun Alt -01°39.5',
distance to sun: 5°37'26" in PA243.45
Story of the observation:
After studying the actual
weather satellite images
I pulled myself and decided to head for southern regions along the
German Highway A81.
Leaving Stuttgart behind in the afternoon
of January 13 2007 the clouds dissolved and uncovered
a glassy sky.
The sun and the deep blue sky
seduced me to stay, but my old comet heart whispered in my ears: go on!
Let's go whole hog, I thought by myself
and decided to stop finally at the
Feldberg Mountain in the Black Forest, 1450 meters
above sea level.
Around 3:30 PM I finitely found the street to the mountain and
reached the base camp, the Feldbergerhof.
Though the steel-blue sky lets hope
for the best and so I climbed on foot the mountain, jam-packed with binoculars,
foto equipment and tripod.
I skated over the cable pulley (because I had to
scout the way for the nightly return walk) and shined up blowing the remaining
175 meters to the summit.
My eyes and my heart reaped the benefits immediately -
an unbeatable panorama over South Germany, France and the Alps.
Matterhorn greeted from afar and the valleys were lying in the mist and were
leaving the stars to the winners.
The unvarnished truth of the automatic digital camera
pushed me to study the handbook: manually fokus and exposure times, diaphragm
and so on.
Finitely fit for the comet hunting I tried out some exposures and
discovered the comet in the viewfinder at 4:45 PM CET, a quarter of an hour
before sun set.
Of course the image was enhanced by the camera and I couldn't
see the comet with the naked eye while the sun was in pie.
Because of the risk to go
blind I left the binoculars beside and killed the time before sun set with
Slowly but steady some snoopy tourists of the region joined company with
me and from that moments on I shared the comet hunting with totally enthused
The comet stands 5°37' over the sun,
something shifted east. After sun set I finitely could use my binoculars
(20x80mm) and I spied the comet at once.
A wonderful symmetric tail faned out
north-east and moved puffy away from a dense comet core. Never in my life I saw
a comet with the naked eye at once after sun set, not even Hale-Bopp.
everybody around me could see the comet, with or without the binoculars, how it
pushed against the reddish mist.
It needed around half an hour to cross the
horizon and we enjoyed every minute of the natural spectacle. The final was an
unexpected surprise for me.
In the last seconds before its disappearing behind
the razor blade horizon, the comet changed its brightness counterattacked and
left the impression of a second sun set in my mind.
It touchstoned flaring the
deepest mist layers and warped its shape and brightness like a kaleidoscope.
After the set of the comet's head the tail raised a short time alone over the
horizon and left back all happy: a comet hunting moment for lifetime.
Text and all images by (C)
GIF video sequence of
comet McNaught on January,13 2007 from 5:30 to 5:37 pm CET
(16:30 - 16:37 UT)
Canon EOS 350D and 200 mm
13 exposures with 1/125 - 1/60 sec., f-5.6, ISO400
Observation location was on the Feldberg
mountain close to the observation tower, 1445 m above sea level
impressions of the afternoon:
Location of the observation, in the background the Alps in about
120 km distance (74 miles)
Summit region with
funicular and the Feldberg observation tower
Stone monument on the
Direction to heartland
to France (west)
Swiss (south) in 205 km
(127 miles) distance (summit in the center),
one of the highest summits in Europe
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