Comet Machholz (C/2004 Q2)

In the past comets brought with them connotations of doom and gloom. Witnessing a comet in the night sky could very well be one of the scariest things a person might see up there in the heavens. Nowadays, given sufficient distance from the Earth, comets elicit a distinctly different reaction. People gaze at them in wonder from even bright city skies- and amateur astronomers enjoy the change in pace from their usual astronomical vistas. This comet, Machholz (C/2004 Q2), is now rounding the Sun and will be journeying to the outer part of the solar system soon. On its way, people in the northern hemisphere can catch a glimpse of it during the subsequent months.

Click on image for larger version.


76mm Televue (480mm f/6.3 refractor)
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = synthetic binned 1x1
Red = 200 seconds binned 1x1
Green = 200 seconds binned 1x1
Blue = 200 seconds binned 1x1

  • From left to right the images were taken on the nights of December 7th, 9th, 11th (2004) and January 7th (2005).
  • Minimum credit line: Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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    Updated: 01/07/2005