Comet McNaught over the Atacama salt-lake

At the beginning of January 2007, skywatchers were visited by a “new” comet which came to be the brightest of the previous 40 years. Discovered in August 2006, it reached perihelion in January 2007. Here in the picture, Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) is setting on the western horizon of the Atacama salt-lake, seen from the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF), located at 2900 m altitude on the road to Chajnantor. The lights in the background come from the lithium mine on the other edge of the salt-lake. ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, is the largest astronomical project in existence and it is currently under construction on the Chajnantor plateau at 5000 m altitude.

Credit:

ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

About the Image

Id:alma-hh-09
Type:Photographic
Release date:14 June 2010, 17:55
Size:2912 x 4368 px

About the Object

Name:Comet McNaught
Type:• Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet
• X - Solar System

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