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Stephen James O'Meara's secret sky: The zodiacal light and Comet McNaught

June 2007: The problem with making claims about intensity changes in the zodiacal light is that the glow is so feeble, its appearance can be greatly altered by atmospheric conditions or the state of the dark-adapted eye.
When Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) burst onto the celestial scene last January, it thrilled us with one spectacle after another. This versatile visitor transformed itself from a binocular beauty to a graceful daylight dancer to a glorious southern belle. But as often happens when we become mesmerized with a star attraction, it's easy to overlook others nearby.

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