|Donald Machholz of Colfax, California, an optician who
has been interested in astronomy since age eight,
discovered nine comets from 1978 through 1994. He
has since spent 1,457 hours scanning the skies for
other comets, without any luck. Machholz spotted the
comet through the 30X eyepiece of his 6-inch f/8
Criterion Dynascope Newtonian reflector, a vintage
telescope that was a mainstay among amateur
astronomers during the 1960s and 70s. Machholz had
purchased his back in 1968.
|Comet Macholz C2004 Q2
46 Million Miles Distance
In Casseopia DSI f3.3
|73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, (images on the right
& below) also known as Schwassmann-Wachmann 3,
is a periodic comet in our solar system which is in the
process of disintegrating.
The comet was initially discovered by Arnold
Schwassmann and Arno Arthur Wachmann on May 2,
1930. It has an orbital period of slightly less than 5 1/3
years so that it comes nearest to the Earth every 16
Sekanina (1989) estimated a pre-breakup (prior to
1995) diameter of about 2 km.
Toth et al. (2005) estimate that fragment C (prior to
recent splitting) had a diameter of 1.3 km.
|Image below was taken at 1:22 AM
CST on 4/14/06. This is the main
|Image below was taken at 11:11 PM
CST on 4/22/06. Note that the comet
has moved amongst the stars in the 49
minutes from the image on the left.
|Image below was taken at 10:22 PM
CST on 4/22/06. This is the main
|Main Comet -------------->>>
|Image below was taken at 12:45 AM
CST on 4/23/06.
|Fragment B -------------->>>