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John Endres | profile | all galleries >> Comet McNaught tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Comet McNaught

On the evening of 20 January 2007, I had the opportunity to see comet McNaught from the coastal road between Camps Bay and Llandudno, near Cape Town in South Africa. Taking photos of the comet proved very challenging indeed: there was a fierce wind blowing, which shook everything including my camera. As I didn't have a tripod with me (I would have had to bolt it to the ground in any case, and hang some lead weights on it for stabilisation), I was glad to find a solution: I rested my camera on a short wooden pole to which the guardrails alongside the road were affixed. By pressing down as hard as I could onto the camera, it kept still for long enough to take the long exposure shots. The lens's vibration reduction certainly also helped. You can see the results in this gallery. (Shot with a Nikon D70 and the 18-200mm VR Nikkor).

Read more about the comet here: http://www.space.com/spacewatch/070104_comet_mcnaught.html
Llandudno bay First view of the comet - still very faint The restless ocean (appearing calm on this photo) First view of the comment -- the big picture
The new moon -- I could not spot Venus The reason being that the moon was eclipsing Venus Comet McNaught Venus now separated from the disk of the moon
The comet and its tail Great ball of fire The darker it got, the more visible the tail became Click on this image to enlarge -- the curvature of the tail is most impressive