Skip to comments.Comet comes to wish us a Happy New Year
Posted on 01/01/2005 10:45:55 AM PST by FairOpinion
Go out in the open tonight after your dinner and look to the south east of the dark sky. See whether you can spot a celestial body with blue gas tail and the edge of an orange-yellowish dust tail emerging at very different angles from the coma. Thats comet Machholz. The comet also code named as C/2004 Q2 is the 10th comet discovered by Don Machholz of Colfax, California, on August 27th.
The comet will be closest to earth on Sunday and Monday, when it will be 32 million miles away. This is close in astronomical terms. It will be visible to Northern Hemisphere viewers.
If you want to enjoy the view then go away from the city light, dust and pollution - to a rural area if possible. Then look to the south east of the sky. Carry a star map with yourself if you are not familiar with constellations. Try locating the constellation Orion the hunter with three stars in the middle representing a belt. Then look above Orion and you shall see the V-shaped constellation of Taurus. Machholz should be there in early January. Early Jan is the best time to see this comet. The comet will look like a hazy glowing ball with shade of aquamarine green. If you use a binocular or a telescope then you may be able to see the tail of this comet.
The 52 yr old astronomer Donald Machholz has spent 30 years of his life combing night sky for comets. He has so far discovered 10 comets. Machholz was discovered by him using a six-inch telescope he paid $200 for in 1968.
"It's been 120,000 years since this comet has been near Earth," Machholz said. "And it will be 12,000 years before it shows up again." So dont miss it.
Ping and happy new years!
Heard an interesting astronomy tidbit the other night. Apparently on Jan 1st at midnight (local time) Sirius is due south from any location. And it is true every year.
Are you serious about Sirius?
Happy New Year!!!!!
Hey, we're very Sirius around here.
Happy New Year!
I'll be skiing up in the Alps from the 5th to the 9th, so hopefully I'll have clear skies!
http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/charts.html Finder charts
I don't know anything about the price of telescopes that last 36 years, but I figured that $200 at 2% rate for 36 years is a little over $400. That will get you a decent telescope these days, but not near the prices of some top-0-line telescopes.
Cool I got a telescope tripod for Xmas. Time to pull the scope out and go out far away from the city.
Happy new years back! :-)
Saw it tonight. Very faint, no discernable coma. It did seem to be blue-greenish though.
Comet put on list of potential Earth impactors
New Scientist | 1 June 2005 | David L Chandler
Posted on 06/02/2005 9:04:31 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
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