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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

Laurent Laveder,
Quimper, Bretagne, France
Oct. 29, 2007
#1, #2, more

Now that the diameter of Holmes has increased dramatically, finding it is a child's play. Tonight, even my daughter and my stepdaughter know where to find it! Do you need their help?

Photo details: Canon 30D + Sigma 30mm stop to 2.8 on a tripod. 2 s at 1600 ISO.

Sean Walker,
Chester, New Hampshire
Oct. 28, 2007

I just can't resist a bright comet, even during the brightest phases of the Moon- I decided to take many short exposures to try to detect any hint of an Ion tail, rather than concentrating my efforts on the bright pseudo-nucleus. Success! Note the faint, diffuse tail trailing off to the upper-left in this image. 108mm f/4 astrograph, SBIG ST-10XE CCD Camera. 21 minutes of red, green, and blue filtered exposures each.

Pete Lawrence,
Selsey, West Sussex, UK
Oct. 29, 2007

This is a 45 minute exposure (9x5 minute exposures) extreme processed to reveal the tail of comet 17P/Holmes. It's extremely faint but is there heading off to the upper right of the coma in this image. As the Moon moves out of the way this should give astrophotographers a better opportunity to focus on the faint structures that constitute that most important piece of a comet - its tail.

Domenico Licchelli,
Gagliano del Capo, Italy
Oct. 29, 2007
#1, more

Photo details: newtonian telescope 300 mm f/5.3 + Canon 400D 1/100 sec at 100 ASA (Moon); 20 sec at 800 ASA (Comet Holmes)

Matthieu Gaudé,
Le Corbier in Savoie departement, France
Oct. 28, 2007
#1, #2, #3, #4

It was'nt a good night to observe the comet, Moon and cirrus every where ! But when I turn my eyes to the sky at this night, a good surprise was waiting for me : a beautifull atmospheric halo around the Moon, an oval circumscribed and a parhelic circle and the comet yet!

Photo details: Canon 350D + Peleng 8 mm / 30s at 800 ISO and Canon 350D + 18-50 F/2.8

Abe Megahed,
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Oct. 28, 2007
#1, more

It has been interesting to watch the comet change. On one hand, I'm amazed at how large it has become over the past two days. It is now assuming more of the look of a comet rather than a weird planetary nebula and it's neat to see a tail and some structure emerging. It almost looks like you can see a "shell" around it from the first eruption. On the other hand, it has lost some of its beautiful intense yellow color that gave it such a jewel like quality. I'm glad that I had a chance to see that on the 25th soon after it first erupted. In any case, I'm looking forward to watching it continue to change over the next weeks. -abe.

Dean Schwartzenburg,
Nicholasville, KY
Oct. 29, 2007

65 second exposure (5 x 13 sec) through a Celestron 9.25-inch SCT at f/5 using a Starlight Xpress SXV-H9. Visually, through a 12-inch scope, the comet looked exactly like the image! Very high surface brightness even with a nearby bright moon.

Syed Baqir Naqvi,
Quetta, Pakistan
Oct. 28, 2007

This spectacular comet is zoomed here in this image.

Mark van der Hum,
Naarden, The Netherlands
Oct. 29, 2007
#1, #2

Comet17P/Holmes and the moon photographed with the same configuration.

Photo details: Meade 10" LX-200, 35mm.Panoptic eyepieceprojection. Nikon coolpix 4500. 8 sec. ISO 400(comet).

more images (Oct. 29): from Adrian Jones of Maidenhead, UK ; from Masa NAKAMURA of Tochigi, Japan; from Rijk-Jan Koppejan of Middelburg, The Netherlands; from Andrew Catsaitis of Central Coast, NSW, Australia.; from Khosro JafariZadeh of Ahvaz, Iran; from Giancarlo Cortini and Stefano Moretti of Predappio (Italy); from Michael Borman of Evansville, Indiana; from Scott Conner of Evansville, IN; from Gary A. Becker of Coopersburg, PA.