Comet Machholz and Geminid Meteor

December 24, 2004


Provided by: Wally Pacholka
Summary authors & editors: Wally Pacholka

On this spirited photo, taken from the Mojave Desert in California, a brilliant meteor from the Geminid Meteor Shower cuts through the night sky between the reddish Orion Nebula (top left) and the greenish Comet Machholz (top right). More than 150 meteors per hour were seen during the Geminids on the night of December 13. The bright object at bottom left is the brightest star visible in the Northern Hemisphere, Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major. Comet Machholz is currently a +4.5 magnitude object -- visible with the unaided eye from a darkened location. 2004 has been a grand year for comet watching. Comet Machholz is the 5th naked eye comet visible this year.

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