....Oakland, California - Stargazing since 1924








This is an image of Comet P/Machholz 2 obtained by Jim Scotti with
the 36 inch Spacewatch telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona on 1994
September 9 UT. The image is about 23.3 arcminutes on a side with
north at right and east at top. This comet was observed as a
fragmented comet with at least 6 fragments observed after its
discovery. This image shows fragment "A", the brightest of the
nuclei and fragment "B" just to the right and above fragment A.
The other fragments are off the frame to the north-northeast. The
morphology of this comet changed rapidly in the days around this
image. Visible here is a narrow ion tail extending off the image
and a nearly symmetric coma embedded in a sharply bounded tail
structure. Also visible very faintly is a faint debris structure
spread through the nuclei. The tail structure changed drastically
in the days following this image with the ion tail dissipating and
the tail weakening.

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