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Saturday, October 27, 2007


Comet 17P/Holmes update

Once again I dragged myself out of bed at 2:00 am, this time with map prepared and walking shoes ready .... and the northern sky was clouded out below the Pleiades. I waited a while, but the cloud didn't shift, so I went back to bed.

While I was sleeping, people around the world were taking fantastic images. This one from Quanzhi Ye shows amazing jets in the coma of the comet. The comet looks like a ball of cotton wool in this image from Simone Bolzoni. Toni Scarmato has lots of good images on his page. R Ferando has a pretty amazing animation of the comet. Bart Declercq has some great images of the coma. Images taking at the 1-m scope at the Pic du Midi , by F. Colas and J. Lecacheux shows the incredible development of the coma over time. An image from Philip Jones showing the comet as a ball of cotton wool. Martin McKenna has a great widefield shot from Ireland.

The comet remains bright and visible to the unaided eye, even in Moonlight. The light curve of the comet can be followed here. Southern Hemisphere charts can be found here. Australian observers have been successful in picking up the comet. So if you are a night owl, there is still a chance to see it.

In the bloggoverse, Stuart has a heads up, the Bad Astronomer has some very nice pictures, DaveP has cloud like me, Tom got some pictures he will post later and Top Of The Lawn has a very nice shot indeed.

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