Bad Astronomy

Comet McNaught: daytime comet!

Update (January 17, 2006): Welcome APODders! I see a flood of folks coming here from Astronomy Picture of the Day. Thanks for the visit. Before you click on the video below, please make sure you watch my first video (where I actually show comet footage). And you should poke around my site! I talk lots of astronomy here.

I went outside today around noon and was able to see McNaught easily with binoculars. This is truly incredible! I tried to get video (using my camera, my webcam, everything I could think of) and I simply couldn’t because the sky is too bright. But just looking through binocs it was a piece of cake. If you want to see it, GO!


But first, a mea culpa. In my last video, I made a couple of small errors, and I want to correct them. I decided to do another videoblog to do that. In it, I also describe how to find the comet.

Update: as noted in the comments below, in the video I said an eccentricity of 1 is a line, when it’s actually a parabola. I got that right in an earlier take, but messed it up in this one. Figures.

The astroblogs are buzzing about this. Asymptotia has a good post, for example. For pictures, go to, and for finding charts go to