Comet 6-6


C/2004 Q2 Machholz on January 1st 2005 at 03.00 LT through the 16" F/4.5 reflector. This naked eye comet was complex with intricate structure. On the sketch the blue ion tail was 3.5 degrees long and the 'witches hat' shaped dust tail extended for 1 degree. The coma displayed jets and streamers along with a bright spine. I watched this comet on every clear night throughout its apparition and was treated to a superb naked eye sight in the winter dark skies with stars visible to mag 7 on occasion without optical aid. Conor and I spent many all night sessions watching this visitor which was discovered by Don Machholz with a 6" reflector in Eridanus. On Christmas eve I observed this comet among the light snow from my backyard while distant church bells proudly played a host of Christmas carols - a wonderful memory!