Don’t know how I missed it–Comet McNaught is brighter than Venus
16 January 2007
There is currently a very bright comet visible, and it just passed from morning sky to evening sky. It is still pretty close to the Sun, but Comet McNaught-Hughes, (C/2006 P1) is about magnitude -5 right now. Kudos to dorigo for posting on it.
Look just South of the setting Sun (slightly left as you face West for sunset). The brightest compact and probably twinkling (due to movement of atmosphere) object is Venus, and the extended fuzzy thing is the comet, with a compact head and long tail. It is getting farther and farther South after its closest approach to the Sun, so will be less and less visible to Northern hemisphere observers.
Disclaimer–I haven’t tried it myself, but I will tonight if I can get a good Western horizon. I’ll try to get a good comet post up soon, too.
And now for something completely different, this is cool for those who like anachronistic, bibliophilic trivia.