Comet 17/Holmes (4 days later)

I received a email alert from stating that the comet halo has gotten even bigger and has been reported to be the size of Jupiter.I’m not sure of the accuracy but,I will say that it is huge with a slight hint of a green/yellow hue through the eye piece.The core is really bright and has noticeably moved since my last observation.Heh,actually,my last observation tricked me.When I first saw the halo,I thought it was due to upper air moisture so I reduced the exposure time.Only after I posted the image did I realize that I had it right the first time.Note to self,trust the images!.

Below is a image that I took this evening at 8:30pm.I would have taken more but,clouds had rolled in.

Image credit:Andrew

October 29,2007


16 Responses to “Comet 17/Holmes (4 days later)”

  1. So I guess they were saying it is the acutal size of Jupiter, not the apparent size of Jupiter? Its apparent size is MUCH larger than Jupiter.

  2. That is the way that I am interpreting the info.I’m not exactly sure where the comet is located but,I thought I had read that it was between Mars and Jupiter.Don’t quote me on that though.With that in mind,if it is between the 2 planets then that would explain it’s apparent size.My guess is that it is quite a distance (closer) from Jupiter judging from the growth time of the halo.Also,has their been any reports on the actual size of this comet?.I just checked and their is a report of a faint ion trail coming from the comet.If this is indeed the case then I would say that we are in for a spectacular show as time moves forward.

  3. Congratulations to this image! Unfortunately weather is so bad here in Germany there hasn’t been a single hole in the cloud cover for days, so there hasn’t been an opportunity to see Holmes for me so far. 😦 At least I can see it on your image now 🙂

  4. Hi Ingo,it is good to hear from you!.Comet 17P/Holmes is quite bright through the eye piece.Hope the clouds part for you very soon and you can get a first hand look at this wonder!.

  5. Yeah – I actually had to enter the orbit info into my Starry Night software so I could see it and that’s pretty much where it is. It never gets closer to the sun than 2AUs so it’s still pretty far away, but it appears to be quite a bit bigger than Jupiter on my scope. It’s grown quite a bit each day – I’ve been combining my images to track it and illustrate its growth.

    Also, have you seen anywhere if anyone knows what happened to cause the sudden brightening? I’ve seen theories, but nothing concrete. I know the reason it’s getting bigger and stuff is the outgassing or shedding of material, but have you seen anything about what might have caused it?

  6. I haven’t heard much about the possible flare except that it also was flaring up when it was discovered in 1892, albiet this flare is much bigger.I am playing the “Curious George” at the moment and have lots of questions and theories.Questions such as; was the comet within Jupiters grasp and if so,could the gravity from the big planet have caused any stress to cause it to flare to this extent?.My favorite theory is that it struck a unseen object in the asteroid belt.Heh,obviously an uneducated guess 😛 .Regardless, it is going to be something that will bare watching!.

  7. Well it’s a bit cold for bare watching even down south in Georgia. 🙂

    I would kind of doubt that it would have been related to Juipter since Jupiter is on the other side of the Sun right now. Here’s JPL’s orbit diagram:

    My personal theory is that it isn’t a comet at all, but a huge missile aimed straight for us. And the so-called coma is the exhaust of the engine. Let’s see if we can get that idea started as an urban legend.

  8. Ok,I’ll stick with collision theory 🙂 .Maybe alien spacecraft blasting their way through the asteroid belt?.UFO enthusiast would have a field day.

  9. I like yours better – I’m telling people it’s an alien spacecraft from now on.

  10. […] fact that I checked out the weather tonight was inspired by Andrew’s image. And I was really lucky! The sky became clear for not more than an hour and I was able to use this […]

  11. Yep, I agree – a fantastic shot of the comet showing structure!

  12. I wasn’t sure at first so i increased the power on my scope. Sure enough. I’ts Santa Clause in his sleigh and his reign deer.

  13. I heard a report that Santa was sleigh jacked by some thug reindeer 🙂 .

  14. Can this hit us? or come close? After all 2012 will soon be here and this would do it no dout.

    • Hi Dave,the comet is poses no danger despite the 2012 hype.This comet was observed in the late 1800s to have a similar out burst.IMO it is just going thru it’s normal lifecycle.
      Clear skies

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