Best of AOP - Solar System

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), rounded the Sun in 2005 and is now on its journey to the outer part of the solar system. On its way, people in the northern hemisphere could catch a glimpse of it during early 2005.

Last Updated: 26-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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76mm Televue (480mm f/6.3 refractor)

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

From top to bottom the images were taken on the nights of December 7th, 9th, 11th (2004) and January 7th (2005).

Luminance = RGB (synthetic)binned 1x1

Red = 200 seconds binned 1x1

Green = 200 seconds binned 1x1

Blue = 200 seconds binned 1x1

Minimum credit line: Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF