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Comet Holmes - Bright in the northeast!
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Captain Doom
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Discovered in 1892, Comet Homes has unexpectedly brightened from magnitude 18 to 2.8 (about a millionfold increase).

See here. Capella a a bright, prominent yellowish star also rising in the northeast around 11 PM local.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey Rusty, you posted a link once of a star chart that could move based on the dates and times. Where is that star chart at?

How much longer will this event be visible? How much closer will the comet get to us?


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Posts: 7289 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Captain Doom
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The star chart will move, but not very much since it's to the northeast. Comet Holmes is a frequent visitor, with a period of ~33 years. It's best viewed through binoculars. No tail is evident, but it's not been known to flare up like the current eruption, which is very unusual for an obscure comet with a short period (most short-period comets have most of the spectacular already burned off in the past 3 billion years).

The comet won't get much closer to us, but when it does, if the flare doesn't persist, it'll fade to obscurity except in 8" or larger scopes. How long this flareup will last is anyone's guess, as it was completely unexpected - and unexplainable....


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
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Comet 17/P Holmes continues to expand (but dim slightly); it's coma is now estimated to be larger than Jupiter (~86,000 miles in diameter).

I haven't been able to locate the star chart Bill N Y mentioned, and couldn't print out a locator for Comet Holmes that would be in a usable format. The least bad representation is this photo, which would be about what would be seen at 8:30 PM local. The Moon is long-gone from the area.

In this photo, Capella is the prominent yellow star in the upper left corner of Auriga (The Charioteer).

The fuzzy blob between the right end of Perseus and the "Taurus" label is the Pleiades ("Seven Sisters" or the "Baby Dipper"), which most people can easily pick out.

Casseopeia forms a easy-to-see "W" on its side.

There's also this.

Anyway, while Comet Holmes is moving away from the Earth, the Earth's orbit, being closer to the Sun causes the Earth to revolve faster, and actually be catching up. (The comet is actually now further away than Mars; it never comes inside Mars' orbit). How long it'll be visible is dependent on its continued flare, but it should be at least relatively prominent for the next couple of weeks.

While the comet is a naked-eye object, a small pair of binocs (6x30 up) will show its size and fuzziness.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
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UPDATE: A very good friend of mine imaged Holmes on successive nights, and the series dramatically shows the expansion in size: Here.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
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17P/Holmes' coma has now expanded to a diameter larger than the Sun!


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
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Finally got around to processing 17P/Holmes photos I took the night of 11/8/07. This is a stack of 21x30 second images...

For stargazers info: SBIG ST-8XE|AO-7|Tak TOA-130S@f/7.7|NJP Temma II



Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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