There is a new human-discovered comet in the skies... and quickly becoming
a very nice object.
A local N. Colorado amateur astronomer just images it the other night.....
Very Nice, Brian. There is now visible, a Ion tail & Dust tail. Brian's image from Dec 19, 2004....notice the twin ion tails.
bnimball"at"msn.com The dust tail is very obvious here. The ion And more aligned on the comet than the stars, like the top is,
or debris tail is at 8 o'clock on the comet. it's moving faster.
pictures of current comets many of the days.
Comets' path from Jan 1 -10 at about 7PM. See Orion at the bottom
It's ~4.2 right
now, naked eye visible, but binoculars will let you see detail of the coma,
the tail is
quite dim yet, but it could brighten up to 4.1, when it's next to the Pleiades on Jan. 5-8, 2005.
From the Yahoo_Comet_ML is this message:
"Date: Thu, 16
Dec 2004 21:40:06 +0200
From: "Mike Begbie" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: C/2004 Q2 Comet Machholz
on the fact that MUCH more dust tail is visual than on recent images.
My last ob. on 13th Dec. showed 2+ degrees of dust tail with binoculars.
I don't think however, Thomas, that we are seeing ANTI-TAIL here at the moment.
As John says it is probably Type III heavy particle stuff."
I would take
that to be the artifact on Brians' pic. that goes from the coma to the
right corner. At 1024x768, I noticed there is a very interesting feature in the coma of
(Source: MPEC 2004-Q58 http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/mpec/K04/K04Q58.html
They also have the preliminary Two Line Elements on the site. )
........and from the Discoverer!!
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 05:32:38 -0000
From: "donmachholz" <DonM353259@aol.com>
Subject: Thanks from Don Machholz
I've been sitting here, new to the group, reading
these messages and
congratulations. Thank you to all of you for your kind words. It
It was only yesterday morning when I found the
comet yet so much has
happened since then.
I began comet hunting on Jan 1, 1975, and for
nearly 30 years now
I've done some comet hunting each and every month. At the time I
found this comet I had searched 7046 hours, 1457 since my previous
find, in 1994, when I found three comets in four months (go figure!)
When I found this latest one I was on my back
deck, using my 6"
(15cm) Criterion Dynascope (purchased in 1968). I used a 2" OD
eyepiece pressed over the focussing tube, yielding 30x and a field
of view of about 2 degrees. This is the same setup I use for my
Messier Marathons, and I used it last March to find all 110 objects
by memory in one night. I'm very comfortable with it. I use it on
my back deck from time to time to compliment the 10" reflector and
5" homemade binoculars I have in my observatory 30 meters from my
house. With the 6" in the deck I can see down to -45 degrees
declination. I had covered some of the southern sky on Aug 25, then
went back out on Aug 27 to cover more sky, working my way eastward
after each N-S sweep.
We will just have to wait and see what the comet
After I reported the discovery it is out of my hands. I take no
credit for what it does, whether it fizzles, or brightens a lot, or
whether it hits some habited planetary body! We are all observers
Take care and keep looking up.