Sour Grapes
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Announcing Comet Machholz

I first learned of this on the Astronomy Picture of the Day website, yesterday. They say it's "already visible to the unaided eye." I also got an e-mail from They quoted one Jimmy Westlake as saying, "The comet was immediately visible to the naked eye," and adding

Comet Machholz (C/2004 Q2) has been nearing Earth for weeks, brightening day by day, and now it looks like a fuzzy 5th-magnitude star near the feet of Orion. Look for it in the southeastern sky a few hours after sunset: sky map. Astronomers expect Comet Machholz to reach peak brightness (3rd or 4th magnitude) in January 2005...

I looked a couple of times last night but didn't see it. We've got a lot of light in the night skies this near to Philly and the conditions were not the best, so I'll keep trying. But 5th-magnitude is fairly dim.

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