Comet 96P/Machholz makes another close pass by the Sun

July 15, 2012SPACE “Discovered in 1986, Comet 96P/Machholz is a fascinating comet that has passed through SOHO coronagraph images four times now,” says Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab. “It’s not a huge comet but it is very photogenic, and puts on quite a display with its beautiful dusty tail.” In an essay posted on his web site, Battams explains why the comet is so fascinating. Many researchers suspect 96P/Machholz is not a native of our solar system; some chemical evidence suggests it came from another star. Also, 96P/Machholz appears to be dynamically related (that is, the comet’s orbit is related) to a diverse collection of other objects in the solar system including asteroid 2003 EH1 and the Quadrantid, Southern Delta Aquariid, and daytime Arietid meteoroid streams. All of these things–the asteroid, the comet, and the meteoroids–might be fragments of a single “foreign” body that broke apart thousands of years ago. Comet 96P/Machholz will be visible in SOHO coronagraphs until July 17th. Battams believes the comet will reach a peak brightness of 2nd magnitude–not its best show. “But who knows,” he says, “maybe Comet Machholz will do something completely and utterly unexpected like fragment into a swarm of Machholzlets.” –Space Weather
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9 Responses to Comet 96P/Machholz makes another close pass by the Sun

  1. niebo says:

    “…Some chemical evidence suggests it came from another star” is a fascinating suggestion, that a displaced “luminary” would be found here during these interesting times. That it, along with the other celestial bodies, might have been part of something that broke apart way back when makes me think of the catastrophic “shake-up” about which I am reading in “The 7th Protocol”….


  2. Patti says:

    Two comets collide in the sky; the warning from God. This event will reveal to all of us what our souls look like through the eyes of God. For more information, please go to:


  3. Something that always gets me whenever they start talking about comets is how the astronomers always downplay the odds of us taking even a glancing strike, yet they readily admit that they are finding new ones all of the time…it’s just a bit incongrous to me.


  4. callyrox says:

    It’s a tad strange how when ever we see one of these BIG CME’S/Solar Activity we also see a Fly by comet? It almost looks like the sun is having some kind of reaction to the close passers


  5. Anna Caponi says:

    OMG what I saw was so incredible it was a greenish white fireball- looked like our sun!- and it came from the southwest sky and fell towards the west. It left a long wide path behind of blue? then green?- very white and bright. The streak looked like a brushstroke and it stayed well after the (comet) was gone. Something strange comes over me every time I think about it, almost makes me cry! I am so suprised that I haven,t been able to find any images or video that depict anything as enormous and amazing as what I saw. I am so disappointed about that, but at the same time I feel to have experienced something even that more special! P.S. I was with my neighbor who also saw it and I was not under the influence of anything!


  6. Raul says:

    Here in Europe in the night of the 13th July at about 2.10Am a fragment of this comet belived to be at least one meter size came into the atmosphere In Spain with an unsual brightness and many had heared a big explosion in the sky, does anyone know how close these comet or asteroids were to earth orbit?


  7. Brent says:

    Raul, about 80 tonnes of meteors hit Earths atmosphere every day. Many of them are fragments of comet remains that we pass through every year. We note them as meteor showers.


  8. Tumelo says:

    I saw a comet tonight in south africa i would like to know was it from a comet, meteor or shooting star. The date is 25 August 2014 it was so big. Do they fall down and fannish in the air.


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