C/2006 P1 (McNaught) spotted from Dublin, Ireland
- At 17:24UT tonight New Year's Day, I spotted Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught)!!!!!
Atmospheric transparency was very good and almost no clouds except a few distant patches scudding across the horizon low down.
After searching for over half an hour in strong twilight I saw it easily in 20x80 binoculars from an upstairs window in Dublin city (lat=53.3792N, lon=6.2127W). Sun then 9.3 deg below horizon so light pollution not as bad as the twilight.
I could see a small fuzzy and surprisingly bright head about as bright as the mag 3.5 star Lambda Aquilae 6 degrees above it.
That said, it was not an easy observation given the strong twilight and the comet was only 3.0 degree above the horizon!
Given that the comparison star was 8.3deg above the horizon and the comet was only 3.0 deg up, there would be significantly more atmospheric extinction so the comet's true magnitude must be 3.0 or even 2.5 when corrected for the low altitude.
Using 7x50B I star hopped from Altair down to Delta Aquilae then to Lambda Aquilae. Then I used 20x80 to get from Lambda to the comet.
David Moore BSc FRAS
Chairman, Astronomy Ireland.
Tel (01) 847 0777
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]