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Photographer's Note

After being frustrated by many cloudy evenings, I was eventually able to see Comet McNaught for the first time on 21 January. I captured many images with varying degrees of success, trying different exposure times but none of them was exactly what I wanted. This was the best of them, even though the 60 second exposure resulted in a lot of visible movement of everything in the sky due to the planetís rotation. The photo was shot from my front lawn and the lines of light at the bottom of the pic are from vehicles passing in front of the local high school. I wanted to leave them in the photo so that it would give the image a point of visual reference. Viewed with the naked eye, the tail of the comet appeared to be much longer than what Iíve captured in this pic.

The comet was discovered by astronomer Robert H. McNaught Aug. 7 at Siding Spring Observatory, near Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia.
McNaught discovered this comet when it was a few degrees east of the ďheadĒ of Scorpius, on CCD images obtained with the observatoryís Uppsala Schmidt telescope. The images had been obtained as part of the Siding Spring Survey, whose mission is to contribute to the inventory of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) and comets (PHOs) that may pose a threat of impact and thus harm to civilization.

The only alterations here were to partially rotate (because I didnít have the camera set up level on my tripod), crop, and sharpen the image.

Kindest regards,
Tony

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Additional Photos by Tony King (tonyking) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 427 W: 52 N: 440] (1612)
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