Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Comet McNaught

An awful thing happened to me last week: I had some free time on Thursday at work so I thought I'd catch up on my local blog reading and found, to my horror, as I perused a variety of related posts, while surfing from blog to blog, that everyone had been out the night before observing some comet called McNaught, the "brightest comet in 42 years".

Some frantic online research ensued, and soon I was up to speed, and feeling depressed. How on earth could I have missed absolutely all the pre-sighting buzz, the news reports, the announcements? I still don't know the answer to that.

The next few days were even worse, as various weather catastrophes, transport catastrophes, and looking-in-the-wrong-direction catastrophes conspired to make me miss the comet every evening until finally I could no longer stand the daily "Have you seen the comet?" questions from everyone I knew and decided to risk my life to see the damn comet.

So last night, at 8:40, I interrupted my patriotic watching of Drum to climb up on the (slippery) roof, in semi darkness, to find it once and for all.

And what a sight!

Even though it's not as bright as a week ago when members of the Cape Town In Crowd were all camping on Victoria Road or Durbanville Hills taking magnificent photographs (and here and here and here) it's still an awesome sight to see. As the sky darkens the tail grows longer until it looks like something out of a medieval text designed to herald Eventual Doom As Punishment For Evil Ways.

Of course, up on the roof, being battered from all sides by Cape Town's high winds, the best photograph I was able to take comprised a beautiful gradated sky with an electricity pole in the foreground and a hazy brown blur on one side in the background. I won't be uploading that gem to Flickr.

Nevertheless, I have finally seen the comet, and it was definitely worth the wait and repeated mishaps. Plus, I no longer have to dodge the "Have you seen the comet yet?" question that I was eventually hearing about three times a day.


Anonymous kyknoord said...

At least now the comet can head off into the outer darkness without the niggling worry that you were ignoring it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 8:01:00 AM  
Blogger Mandy J Watson said...


And that had been weighing on my mind so it's good that it's been resolved.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Katt said...

I saw it too, I saw it too.

And yes, I fully agree with you. The darker it got, the more spectacular it was.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I had never seen a comet in my life before either. And what a sight McNaught's Comet was. It was spectacular. Also, during the same time in Australia, we could also see the International Space Station. I had never seen a space station either. That was really cool too. It was like a very very bright star that was zooming across the sky.

Saturday, February 03, 2007 6:28:00 AM  

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