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McNaught Comet

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Quick facts

  • This is not an atmospheric phenomenon. It is a solar system body situated 135 to 150 million kms from the Earth this week and receding. The moon is 300,000kms away for comparison.
  • The head is about 10-20 kms across (bigger than Mt Everest)
  • The inner coma surrounding the head is over 4 times larger than Earth with the full coma size likely to be half as large as the Sun.
  • The tail stretches 0.2 AU, or 30 million kms from the head out to space (assuming 15 degrees).
  • Enormous tons of water vapour and dust are being emitted from the comet every second. The exact figure is not known.
  • Comets developed in the outer solar system, are therefore icy, gassy, dusty objects.
  • The comet will not collide with Earth. It was closest to Earth on Jan 15 at 122 million kms distant.
  • The comet will not return.
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