That is a lot of time to find a comet, but then there is a lot of sky to cover! DON MACHHOLZ
This is the type of study that helped to direct comet hunters where to search. DON MACHHOLZ
“Comet NEOWISE stuck its head out from behind the sun and smiled at us.” DON MACHHOLZ
is an American amateur astronomer, who is number one in the world for visual comet discoveries. Credited with the discovery of 12 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, C/2010 F4 (Machholz), and most recently C/2018 V1 (Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto)  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.
The homemade binoculars I used to discover #96p, 2 deg S of M31. The song, “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins was playing on the radio.