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  Summary: Comet 17P/Holmes shocked astronomers on Oct. 24, 2007, with a spectacular eruption. In less than 24 hours, the 17th magnitude comet brightened by a factor of nearly a million, becoming a naked-eye object in the evening sky. By mid-November the expanding comet was the largest object in the solar system--bigger even than the Sun. Since then, the comet has faded back to invisibility. A leading model of the blast posits a deep cavern of ice changing phase, from amorphous to crystalline, releasing in transition enough heat to cause Holmes to blow its top. The comet probably contains many such caverns so, one day, it could happen again. [ephemeris] [3D orbit]
  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Eric Allen,
Observatoire du Cegep de Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Oct. 24, 2007

I've never seen anything like it!! It almost looks like a planet! Image of comet Holmes with a 16'' F11 Cassegrain. Field is 8' by 8' with North at left and East up. ST-9E exposures of 1 second in Red and Green, 1,6 second in Blue. Taken 22h30 EDT on October 24th

Pierre Martin,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Oct. 24, 2007
#1, #2, #3

Comet 17P/Holmes is very easy to find this evening with the naked eyes! It appeared like a 2.5 magnitude object. I did not see any tail nor did I see even a hint of a coma. It's the most star-like comet I've ever seen. With my binoculars, it appeared slightly yellowish. It was like Perseus suddenly had a new star in it.

Laurent Laveder,
Quimper, Bretagne, France
Oct. 24, 2007
#1, #2, #3, #4, more

Comet Holmes is really an incredible object, like a new star in the middle of the thigh of Perseus. It's unbelievable to think that a few hours ago, this comet wasn't visible even with a good telescope, and now, it's easily visible with naked-eyes even in a town! It's a great comet for Full Moon nights...

Babak Tafreshi,
Tehran, Iran
Oct. 24, 2007
#1, #2, more

"This is unbelievable!" says Iranian astronomer Babak Tafreshi. "I was amazed to find Comet Holmes so easily with the naked-eye in the light-polluted skies of metropolitan Tehran."

P-M Heden,
Vallentuna, Sweden
Oct. 24, 2007
#1, more

Amazing! The comet is so bright that I had to do a short exposure not getting the comet overexposured in the photo! A really surprise!

Martin McKenna,
Magheram Co. Derry, N. Ireland
Oct. 24, 2007
#1, #2, more

Hi Tony Even in a blanket of cirrostratus I could see this comet easily with the naked eye like a true Nova breaking up the shape of Perseus - incredible!!!. It looks orange-red with the naked eye but in the scope I could see a compact lively coma surrounding a glorious gold disk. What a strange looking comet - the likes of which I have never seen before. What a nice treat for Halloween!!. A few images are attached. FujiS5600 5.1MP at ISO800/15 sec exp at F/3.2

Keith Geary,
Shercock, Co.Cavan, Ireland.
Oct. 24, 2007
#1, #2, #3, more

Wow!!!!! This is the single most strangest comet I have ever seen in my Life, earlier today, an alert went out that this comet had suddenly brighened from a predicted magnitude 17 to magnitude 3 - incredible, I wonder how this has happened? I quickly set up my 15x70mm binoculars and I easily found it in the constellation Perseus, just about 5 degrees from Alpha Persei at magnitude 1.8, also the star Delta Persei is at magnitude 3.0, from these two stars, I can see the comet at about magnitude 2.5 !!!!! I could immediately see that it is very much yellow in colour, just like the planet Saturn, and it is definitely non star like, with a slighty elongated shape east-west, with no sign of a tail, especially since the near full moon is shining brightly. This can easily be mistaken for a nova, and is easily visible with the naked eye ! Here is a quick shot that I took.....this will grab many headlines over the next few days... Keith....

Douglas Slauson,
Swisher, Iowa
Oct. 24, 2007
#1, more

Comet 17P/Holmes - This is an unusual comet, nova-like to the unaided eye, and easily visible despite the nearly-full moon. Approximately as bright as Polaris. Obvious central condensation, yellowish color in 15x70 binoculars, no visible tail. Exposure info: Canon 350D Rebel XT, 1 sec., ISO 1600, f/10, Celestron 9.25" telescope. The image was cropped.

Vladimir Ladinsky,
Moscow reginon Russia
Oct. 24, 2007

We have a cloudy weather here and I can shot only 6?10sec exposures with 300D and 135mm lens. Comet very bright and visible thru cloudy mist with unaided eye.

more images (Oct. 24): from Fred Koestner of Saint Louis Park, Minnesota; from Runar Sandnes of Reed, Norway; from Paul Evans of Larne, Northern Ireland; from Valentin Grigore of Targoviste, Romania; from Frank Ryan Jr of Shannon, Ireland; from Jose A. Padin of La Coruña, Spain; from Trevor Durity of Galway, Ireland; from Rob Philburn of Hyde, UK; from Tiziano Casanova of Sanremo (IM), Italy, Europe; from Oscar Blanco of La Coruna, Spain; from Ernesto Guido & Giovanni Sostero using a remotely controlled telescope in New Mexico;