Comet Holmes

Amateur astronomers do not seem to be observing Comet Holmes as much as we were last month, but it is still a wonder to behold.

Seiichi Yoshida from Kanagawa, Japan, offers this visualization of the amazing developments of 17p/Holmes with its sudden and dramatic increase in magnitude - quite unlike any other comet! And especially odd when considering this comet was well on a course away from the sun rather than nearing the sun. The graph also shows that the comet is still rather bright.

I observed the comet at 250, November 28, UTC.

Skies were clear, but light polluted. The nearly full moon was rising.

The comet is no longer a naked eye object. I could not find it in the binoculars. It was not visible in the view finder. I've talked with an observer in Belgium and one in Germany and they say in their dark sites the comet is still visible with the naked eye.

Through the 3 1/2 Questar, the comet is very large, but very, very faint.

I lugged out the 10 inch reflector because it gathers more light than the Questar. It was easier to find.

Had I not known there was a comet in that area of the sky, I would easily overlook it.

The comet is elongated. There is no nucleus. Averted vision is needed for the comet.

I took the photograph over a 5 minute exposure.

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