10 January 2007

uh oh a comets coming

beginning 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."
interesting news of this comet comes out tonight (via drudge) the very night our maniac-in-chief is to announce his iraq "troop surge" reckon someone is trying to tell us something? nah, go back to sleep everything is fine.

comet C/2006 P1 (Comet McNaught)

If you watch the morning or evening sky these days and have a clear view of the horizon, you will be able to spot a bright object with a prominent tail.

Instructions for viewing the comet in the morning from Spaceweather.com:

At dawn, go outside and face east
Using binoculars, scan the horizon
The comet is located just south of due east

Instructions for viewing the comet in the evening from Spaceweather.com:

At sunset, go outside and face west
Using binoculars, scan the horizon
The comet is located low and to the right of Venus
A clear view of the horizon is essential

That object is comet C/2006 P1 (Comet McNaught). It was discovered on August 7th, 2006 by the hugely successful comet discoverer Rob McNaught.
click the link to read more.
blogging ohio has more comet mcnaught information and links to photo galleries here.