Two views of Comet IV 1893 on consecutive nights
Barnard's long affair with comets began in Nashville with his first telescope, purchased from his
meager savings. His singular talent as a visual observer soon led to the discovery of an
extraordinary number of them in a comparatively short time—an accomplishment which attracted
the attention of Lick Director Edward S. Holden, who was then assembling the observatory's first
scientific staff. Barnard dicovered about thirty comets in the course of his life, a remarkable
score by any reckoning.
At Lick, Barnard photographed comets discovered by himself and by others. His pictures of
Comet IV 1893 (aka Comet Brooks) revealed changes never before recorded in a comet's tail.
The year before, Barnard had chalked up another photographic first by discovering a comet
with his camera.
From a lantern slide in the Lick photographic plate archive.