Comet Machholz was an easy naked eye object, last night from the USNO Flagstaff Station parking lot. In the 18-inch Obsession, the ion tail looked like a slender bundle of a few strands of fiber optic cable...very nice. Bill in Flagstaff Tom Polakis wrote: There were no less than six telescopes in our group last night, and unfortunately none of them were small refractors, the ideal comet-viewing scope. We made the best of it, though, getting nice views through Kerry Weatherford's 10-inch using a 41mm Panoptic eyepiece. Since the phase angle of the comet is so small, the foreshortened dust tail is not impressive, as it is a stubby feature extending less than 1 degree. Much more impressive is the ion tail, which is only several arcminutes wide for its entire length, which is more than 2 degrees. This tail can be followed most of the way back to the core until the coma brightness is too high to pick it out. Without the telescope, it reminds me of a globular cluster. I put its brightness midway between that of M13 and Omega Centauri, when they are seen high in the sky. The good news is that the comet is only getting brighter. And further good news (for most of us) is that it is moving north. It should be quite a sight in the coming weeks. Tom -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please send personal replies to the author, not the list.