User highlight: Comet 96P/Machholz returns

YouTube and user otraLoly shared this short video of the return of Comet 96P/Machholz to the LASCO-C3 field of view. Thanks for sharing your video! More images of the comet will be available soon on

The small, tadpole-like extended feature approximately in the center of the field of view in the image below is Comet 96P/Machholz.
<a href=”,LASCO,C3,white-light,1,100%5D” Comet 96/PMachholz in 2012, close up

Comet 96P/Machholz has an orbital period of about 5.2 years, which means it has been seen before in LASCO observations. Here is an example image from 2007

Comet 96p/Machholz in 2007

and five years before that in 2002,

Comet 96p/Machholz in 2002

The dates for the entry of Comet 96P/Machholz were obtained from the transit page of the LASCO instrument. It is projected to be visible in the LASCO C3 field of view from July 12 – 17, and it may also be visible in the images from the STEREO A/B coronagraphs.

Written on July 12, 2012 by jack