Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2007 January 9
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McNaught Now Brightest Comet in Decades
Credit & Copyright: Jens Hackmann

Explanation: The brightest comet in decades is unexpectedly now visible. The most optimistic predictions have Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1) shortly becoming one of the brightest comets of the past century. For the next few days, its short tail and bright coma can be spotted with the unaided eye close to the Sun and near the horizon in both evening and morning skies. This dramatic picture of the comet shining through cloudy skies was taken near sunset on January 7 from Bad Mergentheim, Germany.

Tomorrow's picture: NGC 602 and Beyond

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