Astronomy Picture of the Day

Comet Machholz in View

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#62933 by @ 06.01.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Comet Machholz in View


Good views of
Comet Machholz
are in store for northern
hemisphere comet watchers in January.

Now making its closest approach to planet Earth,
the comet will pass near the lovely
Pleiades star cluster on
January 7th
and the double star cluster in
on January 27th
as Machholz moves relatively quickly
through the evening sky.

Currently just visible to the unaided eye from
dark locations,
the comet should be an easy target in binoculars or a small

In fact, this telephoto time exposure from January 1
shows Comet Machholz
sporting two lovely tails in skies over Colorado, USA.

Extending to the left,
of the comet's
ion or gas tail are
readily affected by the solar breeze and point
away from the Sun.

Dust, which tends to trail along the
comet's orbit,
forms the tail jutting down and to the right.

News: APOD editor to speak in January in New York

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