Credit & Copyright: Jens Hackmann
Explanation: The brightest comet in decades is unexpectedly now visible. The most optimistic predictions have Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1) shortly becoming one of the brightest comets of the past century. For the next few days, its short tail and bright coma can be spotted with the unaided eye close to the Sun and near the horizon in both evening and morning skies. This dramatic picture of the comet shining through cloudy skies was taken near sunset on January 7 from Bad Mergentheim, Germany.