Sometimes the sky itself is the best show in town. Last January, people from Perth, Australia gathered on a local beach to watch a sky light up with delights near and far. Nearby, fireworks exploded as part of Australia Day celebrations. On the far right, lightning from a thunderstorm flashed in the distance. Near the image center, though, seen through clouds, was the most unusual sight of all: Comet McNaught. The photogenic comet was so bright that it even remained visible though the din of Earthly flashes. Comet McNaught has now returned to the outer Solar System and is now only visiblewith a large telescope. The above imageis actually a three photograph panorama digitally processed to reduce red reflections from the exploding firework.
(photo copyright by Antti Kemppainen)