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Spotted comet Machholz tonight

  1. Dec 27, 2004 #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.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2004 #2

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    I saw it a few days ago - not much to it from an ETX-105.
     
  4. Jan 1, 2005 #3
    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.
     
  5. Jan 2, 2005 #4

    Labguy

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    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.
     
  6. Jan 2, 2005 #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
     
  7. Jan 2, 2005 #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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