Don Machholz

American amateur astronomer and visual comet discoverer credited with the discovery of 12 comets.

Comet C/2018 V1 (Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto) is a minor body that follows a slightly hyperbolic orbit (eccentricity > 1, 16.4-sigma). It was visually discovered on 7 November 2018 by Donald Machholz using an 18.5-inch reflecting telescope and it reached perihelion on 3 December 2018.
Discovery date: 7 November 2018
Discovered by: Donald Machholz
Perihelion: 0.386954 AU
Argument of perihelion: 88.7749°
The path of Comet V1 through the inner solar system. Credit: NASA/JPL
“An amazing find for Mr. Machholz – I can’t imagine what 742 hours of searching must have been like!” -SNH
“I am so happy to hear about Don’s visible discovery of this comet. I’m glad that he kept trying and that it paid off for him. I am not a fan of the automated search groups out there. I cannot get excited about sitting in front of a computer, controlling a telescope, possibly from the warmth of one’s home, to search for Novae, SNs, and Comets. I guess I’m old-fashion and still enjoy the romance of scanning the night sky for anything new that the Universe might send our way.”  -Tom Reiland
“I’m very excited about this amateur discovery. Fires up the juices!”  -Bob King
“One of my inspirations when I started to love amateur astronomy was reading Peltier’s Starlight Nights in my teens, and how he became a comet hunter. I honestly thought visual comet discoveries were done. So glad you’ve proven me wrong about that!”  -Paul A. Zeller
“Congratulations! I thought there’d never be another visual discovery!”  -Cletus
“Congratulations and nice work! Diligence pays off, as it is becoming increasingly challenging for amateurs to make these kinds of discoveries in a field crowded by automated surveys.”  -Jim Hendrickson
“Congratulations Don! A real inspiration to all of us comet chasers.”  -Alan Fitzsimmons
“Congrats to Mr Machholz on his 12th comet discovery, the most for any living observer! The find shows that backyard visual observers can and do still occasionally discover new comets. Rarer still, the comet incorporates the name of three amateur observers, a true rarity in the modern age of robotic and automated sky surveys such as PanSTARRS, LINEAR and the Catalina Sky Survey.”  -David Dickinson
error: Copyright 2017 Donald Machholz