Astronomer, visual discoverer of comets examines his 18" reflector telescope
Michele AnneLouise Machholz
Donald Edward Machholz, born October 7, 1952 in Portsmouth, Virginia, is an American amateur astronomer who is the most successful living visual comet discoverer in the world. Credited with the discovery of 11 comets, that include the periodic comets 96P/Machholz, 141P/Machholz, the non-periodic C/2004 Q2 (Machholz) that were visible with binoculars in the northern sky in 2004 and 2005, and most recently, C/2010 F4 (Machholz). In 1985, comet Machholz 1985-e, was discovered using a homemade cardboard telescope with a wide aperture, 10 inches across, that gave it a broader field of view than most commercial telescopes. Amateur astronomer Machholz utilizes a variety of methods in his comet discoveries, in 1986 using 29×130 binoculars he discovered 96P/Machholz.