Comet Holmes Flares Into View

I've seen my fair share of nifty objects in the sky and even got a short glimpse of Haley's Comet when it paid its last visit to us in 1985. But I've never seen anything quite as odd looking as Comet Holmes.

Apparently this comet is normally quite uninteresting, passing through our area every 7 years or so on its trip around the sun. But every so often it flares up and becomes visible to the naked eye. The cloud cover at night has been bad lately so I haven't had a chance to spot it here myself but lots of other people have, and they report it being anywhere from yellowish to green in color. It also isn't sporting a tail of any kind right now, that we can see anyway.

For you astronomy geeks out there, this thing went from a magnitude 17 to a magnitude 2 in a matter of hours. I don't remember all of the details but 2 is basically a million or so times as bright as 17. The scale is logarithmic. Either way, a 2 makes it bright enough to be observed unaided.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Nov 6, 2007 12:06 am by Samson in: | 11 comment(s) [Closed]
Well, I think such things are pretty cool, and very refreshing compared to the politics as usual around here. ;)
Especially in light of the recent extended "debate" going on in certain other threads that no longer even come close to their topics at hand.... *sigh*

I tried to see this myself last night, had the telescope out aligned, and everything ready, froze m'ass off setting it up outside on the front porch so I could sit on the seats out there and look, but after I got everything set up and everything, I ended up not being able to see a damn thing because of immense cloud cover, which later turned into rain. So, I'll be trying again tonight. Supposedly if you have a telescope or binoculars you can see the thing in great detail, but you don't need either to see it. This is one of those once in a lifetime kinda deals, so I'm going to try my damndest to see the thing.

We had the same sort of deal with the last eclipse, stayed up all night to watch it and couldn't see anything through the cloud cover, as it was for that event we ended up watching it online instead.

I still haven't been able to get a look at it myself. The fog has been rolling in pretty early after dark for some reason. Otherwise it should be visible in the northeast unless we're too close to the local mountains.

I tried last night before I ended up passing out, and there was very little cloud cover, I did find the constellation Perseus, which is where it is supposed to be visible, but I couldn't see the comet itself, Although, I could indeed have been looking at the wrong constellation as I'm still fairly new to stargazing, but I'm going to try again tonight, and hopefully be able to see it.

Good luck spotting it, Kayle. :)

No dice. Couldn't find it, And it was too god damn cold out tonight even think of staying out any longer, although, it might have been easier to find, had I actually been looking in the right direction before tonight. *mutters*

Do we know how many nights this comet is supposed to be visible to us for? should provide some help in locating it, that spot in the sky should be high enough up that mountains won't obstruct the view. Unless you live right at the base or something.

As far as how long it'll be up there, the article only said "for a few weeks" so there should still be plenty of chances to spot it.

Oh, ok, that should work then, thanks Samson. :)

I give up. I'm just not allowed to see this damn thing.

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