Spotted comet Machholz tonight

  • #1
I spotted comet Machholz tonight in my backyard (basically a full moon) with my small scope (3.5" Refractor)....mainly b/c i didn't feel like bringing out the big boy. Is is me or i did not see much of a tail (really not a tail at all)....just the nucleus and the coma around it???????.......magnification when i observed was 40x. This observation was just about the same in description as comet neat a few months ago and i was looking through a 16" SCT...granted the image was brighter and the nucleus well defined.
 

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  • #2
russ_watters
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Physicsisfun2005 said:
I spotted comet Machholz tonight in my backyard (basically a full moon) with my small scope (3.5" Refractor)....mainly b/c i didn't feel like bringing out the big boy. Is is me or i did not see much of a tail (really not a tail at all)....just the nucleus and the coma around it???????.......magnification when i observed was 40x. This observation was just about the same in description as comet neat a few months ago and i was looking through a 16" SCT...granted the image was brighter and the nucleus well defined.
I saw it a few days ago - not much to it from an ETX-105.
 
  • #3
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I just looked at it tonight (jan 1st). Doesn't look like much for me either in my 10" dobsonian. not really any tail. It looked almost like andromeda but a more pronounced nucleus and more circular.
 
  • #4
Labguy
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sporff said:
I just looked at it tonight (jan 1st). Doesn't look like much for me either in my 10" dobsonian. not really any tail. It looked almost like andromeda but a more pronounced nucleus and more circular.
Last night for me too. Basically, the view through binoculars wasn't much different than you described. But, did you (anyone) notice that the bright, pinpoint-like nucleus is not centered in the "apparent sphere"? Actually, most of what we are seeing is a tail, but just a very short one offset away from the sun from the nucleus. An internet photo I saw two days ago does show both a dust and a gas tail, but very thin and probably not visable through our "small stuff" yet except in long exposure photos.
 
  • #5
turbo
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NASA finder charts

Here are finder charts. Use chart #3 for this time period. Basically during the next week or two, Machholz will travel about South to North, passing just to the West of the Pieades around January 8th/9th.

http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/charts.html [Broken]
 
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  • #6
russ_watters
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I took the attached pic last night. Its a composite of roughly 50 images of 10 and 15 seconds. There's no tail to speak of (the comet passed in front of a star, and that's what the streak is behind it).
 

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