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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


Eduardo Hernandez,
Torreon, Coahuila. Mexico
Oct. 25, 2007
#1, more

The gaseous cloud surrounding the comet's core has more than doubled in radius during the past 24 hours (Oct. 24-25). "I captured these images on consecutive nights using the same equipment (a 14-inch LX200 GPS) and similar exposure times (10x1s)," says photographer Eduardo Hernandez of Torreon, Mexico.


Don Barry,
Hartung-Boothroyd Observatory, Cornell University Ithaca, New York
Oct. 25, 2007
#1

This l ong-slit spectrum covers about 2/3 of the visible spectrum. The slit made a spatial slice across the coma, nicking the nucleus. The dark absorption bands are primarily the solar Fraunhofer lines from reflected sunlight (in the blue these can also be seen in the skyglow away from the comet). The bright bands are generated by ionized gas seen extending beyond the inner dust-dominated region.

The most prominent bandhead in the green is due to the C2 molecule, as is the fainter bandhead in the blue. Other emission features in the green and yellow are due to more C2 and NH2.


Bob King,
Duluth, Minnesota USA
Oct. 25, 2007
#1

I've observed many comets over 30 years but have never experienced anything like the buttery glow and perfect disk seen in Comet Holmes. And it gave me such a thrill to watch it evolve so rapidly. Not wanting to miss a chance at a photo, I set up my camera in the backyard around 10 p.m. on October 25. The night was cold and I couldn't get my wife or kids out to be in the picture so I used the self timer and jumped in myself.

Photo details: Nikon D200, 10" with a 20mm lens at f/2.8 at ISO 200. The comet is circled.


Tom Jorgenson,
Neenah, WI, USA
Oct. 26, 2007
#1

While video recording the comet with a JVC camcorder through a Celestron C-11, I shot some 1,000 CCD frames through a Celestron C-6 using a Starlight Express MX716 (photo attached). The comet is spectacular with an extremely bright coma that gives it that planetary nebula appearance. The CCD image is a composite of 9 - 0.1 second shots.


Valentin Grigore,
Targoviste, Romania
Oct. 26, 2007
#1, #2

The comet was perfect visible with naked eyes from Targoviste town, on a sky with cirrus clouds, full Moon (at perigee) and a 22 colored halo. Unbelievable that three days ago this comet was accessible only for big telescopes!


Cheng Tsz Lok,
Hong Kong, Tsuen Wan
Oct. 26, 2007
#1, #2, #3

The image is taken with a Nikon D100, ISO 200, 8 secs, 12" LX200 in Hong Kong, a heavily polluted city. A bit under exposure to reduce the polluted sky and enhanced to view the nucleus. The core and the coma are easy to seperate. It seems that you are look from above a cone!!


Peter Lipscomb,
Santa Fe, NM
Oct. 25, 2007
#1

A triple panel attempting to show more detail of this fascinating and unusual comet. Imaged with a DBK 21AF04.AS firewire camera through a 20" reflector.


Michal Zolnowski-Tiamat,
Cracow, Poland, Solaris Observatory
Oct. 25, 2007
#1, more

Hallo. Yesterday I made with my Nikkor 180ED and SBIG STL 11000M wide field photography of Comet Holmes. This is 10 combined h-alpha images. Each 900 sec.. On the image is a lot of nebulas and open clusters in Perseus. Comet is on right side- round big circle. Best Regards from Poland! Michael Zolnowski


Ginger Mayfield,
Divide, CO
Oct. 26, 2007
#1, more

This comet is lovely with a larger scope. I took this one with my 14.5 in Starmaster and a Canon 30D. You can see the yellow core and the bluish green coma.


Piotr Majewski,
Torun Centre for Astronomy of the Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland.
Oct. 26, 2007
#1

On Friday, Oct 26th the Moon was the brightest in 2007 year! Well, the exploding comet 17P/Holmes was easy visible to the naked eye, regarding poor observing conditions with some fog and high altitude clouds. Estimated comet magnitude was 2.75m.

Photo details: Nikon Coolpix 8700, ISO 400, 30s exposure, simple tripod.


Jack Newton,
Arizona Sky Village Portal Az.
Oct. 25, 2007
#1

The comet is naked eye but can be recorded in a exposure of only a few seconds,

more images (Oct. 26): from Aaron Worley of Shaker Heights, OH; from Mircea Radutiu of Bucharest, Romania; from Ehsan Rostamizadeh of Kerman, Iran; from Catalin Fus of Alexandria , Romania; from Saied Bahrami Nezhad of Kerman, Iran; from Angel Llanas of Leverrier Observatory, Mexico city; from Florin Marc of Romania; from Dobesberger Rudolf of Neuzeug Austria; from Antonio Sanchez-Ibarra of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; from Les Marczi of Welland, Ontario, Canada.