Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Advent calendar December 8: Comet Holmes

I almost appeared like the Death Star suddenly showed up in the sky or even a new planet beamed in from a wormhole. That's no space station, that's a comet!
Comet Holmes is one of those short period comets that just kind of float around in the solar system not all that exciting and one of those that you can find if you try with a big scope. It usually may just look like a fuzzy star and not all that special. Holmes decided to put on a show in October 2007 and exploded into a huge bright ball earning it's place up there with Hale Bopp, Hayakutake, McNaught and other famous bright comets.
It looked like a bright yellow/green planet in the eastern sky when I first saw it in binoculars. Didn't need binoculars either, it was a new "star" in Perseus. It lasted until February until it dimmed back down to it's usual non-exciting self again.
My photo below was taken November 5, 2007 just over a week after it first brightened.

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