University Lowbrow Astronomers

Comet 2004 Q2 (Machholz)

Comet 2004 Q2 (Machholz)
by Roger Tanner

Although I haven’t had any time to do any astronomy in the last year, I took an evening (December 30th, 2004) to image the comet with Steve Peterson here in Tucson. Steve lives in Vail, a southeast suburb of Tucson. We used his equipment and I just helped with some of the driving. He has a top notch mount, 4 inch refractor, and a FLI dream machine for the camera. We managed to get a hour or so to image it before the clouds moved in. We took a series of images. This image is a LRGB color, that was DDP’ed in MaximDL and then the color stretched in Photoshop. We didn’t do any color balancing, just did a quick process to see what we got. So the colors might not be anything like real. FOV is 2.25 degrees. The exposures were 30 seconds Clear, 60 seconds colors, times 5 sets.

That said, I thought you might be interested in this image. It shows a greenish coma, a blue ion tail and a green/yellow dust tail (faint).

Comet 2004 Q2 (Machholz)
(Click to see a larger version, 105K)

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