LASCO is also taking color filter observations in different wavelength bands. All times are UT on January 12th, 2007. Click on each image for a larger version.
Since LASCO was built to observe the faint solar corona, its exposure times are not tuned to handle objects as bright as this extraordinary comet. In fact, comet McNaught is so bright that it saturates the CCD camera so that "bleeding" occurs along pixel rows. There is a bright horizontal streak on either side of the comet's head, because the charge leaks easier along the direction in which the CCD image is read out by the associated electronics. For these color filter observations, the exposure times were already reduced. However, the head of the comet is still saturated due to its extreme brightness.