C / 2006 P1 (McNaught) came within 122 million km of Earth, making Rob McNaught a star. (After Delivery: Rob McNaught)
Robert H McNaught is in the enviable situation where he can close his eyes and mark his / her greatest moment in his career.
"I had dreamed for that moment since I was a child," said the Scottish astronomer, which is now much more famous as the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.
On the night of January 19, 2007, the man who is now one of the world's greatest comet finders looks like one of the brilliant comedy in living memory coming into a perfect picture in the air.
"This is the most brilliant comet seen by any astronomer around the world over the last 50 years," he said.
It was so brilliant for the next two days that you could see with the naked eye in daylight.
During the night it was "spectacular".
In astronomical terms, Mr McNaught had hit the jackpot, and "it was great".
From blob to glasses
At the end of 2006, Mr McNaught, who is located in Coonabarabran in the north-west of New Newydd, has discovered the huge ball of ice, gas and dust according to chance.
"That night I would usually have closed my equipment because of the bright moon, but I noticed anyway," he said about that night.
"The software raised a mobile object that kept my attention, but at the time it was just blob, boring."
He anticipated an evening-built evening as a comet, later named Comet McNaught 2006 P1, who had traced towards the Earth.
The astronomer knew how common comets were, but he thought this was an exceptional one.
"One colleague tells me that comedy is like cats – they have tails and they do exactly what they are!" he said.
A new mural pays homage to the discoveries of Rob McNaught at his adopted home home of Coonabarabran. (ABC Western Plains: Jessie Davies)
"But when she arrived she was very bright. It was more than everyone's expectations."
Eleven years ago Comet McNaught is a home name among stars.
More brilliant than the famous comet Halley, his tail stretches out for hundreds of millions of kilometers.
Mr McNaught's comedy memories will be with him forever, he said.
"Unless there are amazing developments in medical technology in the horizon, we will never see it again. It will come back in 93,000 years."
Young Scot is outside of Australia
As a young boy grew up in rural Scotland, Mr McNaught did not imagine his life for himself in Australia, not to mention the small town of Coonabarabran that has located in the Warrumbungle Mountains and is home to the famous Countryside Spring Observatory.
"When I grew up, everyone had a coal fire, so I was fortunate if we could see more than two dozen stars in the air," he said.
So, how does Scot Scot young develop a passion for stargazing? Through a magic picture book, of course.
"I remember when I was seven years old, my friend and I received awards for good attendance for a Sunday school," he said.
"A friend was given a book for a place, so we swapped. From then on, I'll read everything we can for astronomy."
After finishing the school, Mr McNaught enrolled at an astronomy degree at the university.
But disaster hit. He hated her.
"I had a totally awful degree and I thought I was wasting everyone's time, so I'll leave astronomy," he said.
However, he succeeded in gaining an honors degree in psychology and within months of graduation, he lowered a job using satellite tracking telescope, bringing him to Australia.
Over his 30-year career, Mr McNaught went on to discover more than 80 comedy.
"In my whole career, I had a strong obsession in an astronomical discovery and for a while I discovered one comedy in a broad six-week, including three within 24 hours," he said.
A day in the life of a comedy hunter
After spending decades exploring the dark night, Mr McNaught can feel the shift work on his body.
Five years of retirement, it can only manage sleep for a few hours at a time.
"My sleep pattern has been basically destroyed," he said.
During his working life, his working day would start in the sun.
He would take breakfast, lunch and lunch during "night" hours of the night, often while he was "at work" observing the air piece at night.
The telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran welcomed Mr McNaught for decades. (Supplied: ANU)
On a clear winter night, shifts would often extend to 12 hours.
Mr McNaught said that there was no remainder to the bad, even on cloudy nights.
"You would always find jobs – whether that's support, writing reports, or up-to-date software," he said.