New Comet Machholz
NEW PICTURES FROM 12/28/04! CLICK HERE!
NEW PICTURES FROM 01/03/05! CLICK HERE!
NEW PICTURES FROM 01/08/05! CLICK HERE!
NEW PICTURES FROM 01/11/05! CLICK HERE!
NEW PICTURES FROM 01/14/05! CLICK HERE!
On 8/27/04, Donald Machholz discovered a new comet that now bears his name. It is the 10th comet he has discovered. He used an old 6 inch Criterion Dynascope reflector telescope to spot this object. This guy gives hope to all the amateur astronomers out there with small telescopes!
Comet Machholz is a naked eye object if you have very
dark skies as of 12/5/04. It is easier to see in binoculars,
however. It is moving on a northerly course to the right
(west) of Orion. This comet will give a pretty good show over the
next couple of months. It might not be one the general public will
appreciate, but amateur astronomers most certainly will get a kick out of
viewing and photographing it!
Comet Machholz, C/2004 Q2, just after midnight local time on 12/13/04 - 3 minutes with a 280mm f4.2 35mm equivalent lens and 200 ISO equivalent film speed.
Greyscale negative showing ion tail slightly better.
Location of Comet Machholz relative to the Orion constellation on 12/13/04.
I used my new Nikon Coolpix 8700 to take the above pictures. It was mounted on top of my C-8 telescope, which was used to guide the exposures. The original 8 megapixel files were cropped and some enhancements in Paint Shop Pro were done, mainly to adjust the sky background color and minimize the grain effect.
I am sorry to report that a short while after I took these pictures and downloaded the files to my computer, all my camera equipment was stolen from my home by someone who broke in while I was sleeping. I had left it all right by the door in 2 equipment bags and they just walked in and grabbed them. They even got my 35mm Nikon film camera and my precious 300mm f/4 ED Nikon lens. They did not steal my telescope, thank God. All I have now is my Toucam Pro webcam, which unfortunately in its present state is only good for planetary astrophotography.
Hopefully, I'll be able to buy a new camera to take more pictures of Comet Machholz before the show it will put on over the next couple of months is over.
Return to my Home Page
All Images Copyright © 2004 Mike Broussard.
All rights reserved.
To send comments or for more information, please email me at
Visitors since December 14, 2004