10 June 2010

uh oh yet another comet is coming

Skywatcher Michael Jäger of Stixendorf, Austria, took this photo of the newfound comet McNaught C/2009 R1 on June 6, 2010, while the comet was visible in the northeastern morning sky. Full Story. Credit: Michael Jäger

in ancient times, babylonian astronomers began to connect the appearance of a comet in the sky to the death of a king. see the great comet and the death of kings by david talbott

The third century Christian theologian Origen cites the comet as heralding a change in dynasties. It was a common "belief that the comet of AD 336 had announced the death of the great emperor Constantine."

In connection with the assassination of Julius Caesar, it was said, a comet had appeared in the sky. [...]
According to Synesius, writing in the fourth century A.D., a comet means great disaster: "And whenever these comets appear, they are an evil portent, which the diviners and soothsayers appease.

They assuredly foretell public disasters, enslavements of nations, desolations of cities, deaths of kings."
space.com excerpt:
Comet McNaught is expected to pass closest to the sun (perihelion) on July 2, at a distance of 37 million miles (60 million km). This sky map shows where to look in order to spot the comet in the morning sky.

The comet is visible now for people with dark skies away from urban and suburban lighting. By mid-June it may be an easy skywatching target for most people. ~ read more