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Author Topic: Has anyone seen comet 17P Holmes yet  (Read 3028 times)

Offline Soul Surfer

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Has anyone seen comet 17P Holmes yet
« on: 31/10/2007 09:59:39 »
I did last night and tried to take some pictures of it.  It's really amazing!

Comet 17P Holmes is a tiny periodic comet that has been known about for about a century.  Its normally extremely faint and only observable with large telescopes.  It has just passed its closest approach to the sun on its approximately 7 year orbit.  It was first found when it had an outburst that made it visible to the naked eye.  Now 100 years later it's done the same thing again. and is as bright as a medium brightness star and easily visible to the naked eye even in urban environments.

Unusually for comets it is in a very good position for observation from the northern hemisphere visible all night and almost overhead late in the evening in the constellation of Perseus.  the following website gives lots more information about it

http://www.cometography.com/pcomets/017p.html

When I looked at it through my 8 inch telescope last night it looked just like the big picture at the start of the website with a big dim disk a brighter central portion and a very bright spot near the middle.  a small telescope or binoculars will show clearly it is a comet with the naked eye it looks like a slightly fuzzy star.  It has no tail at the moment but that is probably partly a result of the angle that we are looking at it

Unfortunately I got the focussing a bit wrong in the photos That I took of it and the although it's clearly visible the pictures are not worth posting.  I will try again if we get another clear night soon. 

If it follows a similar course to the last outburst it will probably be visible for at least a week or two.



 

Offline Karen W.

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Has anyone seen comet 17P Holmes yet
« Reply #1 on: 31/10/2007 10:40:06 »
Thanks that is very cool!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Has anyone seen comet 17P Holmes yet
« Reply #2 on: 31/10/2007 21:41:22 »
I'm blind as a bat so I've got no chance  [:-'(]
 

Offline Alandriel

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Has anyone seen comet 17P Holmes yet
« Reply #3 on: 31/10/2007 21:48:19 »

I'm blind too..... in central London. Makes me wish for the bright desert heavens again.....
 

Offline rosy

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Has anyone seen comet 17P Holmes yet
« Reply #4 on: 01/11/2007 11:57:12 »
Saw it last night, a friend-of-a-friend who writes articles about things to observe dropped by to point it out to us (having just been to a talk about it..).
It's visible with the naked eye in Cambridge.
Very cool.
 

lyner

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Has anyone seen comet 17P Holmes yet
« Reply #5 on: 01/11/2007 14:27:46 »
give us a clue where to see it (for non astronomers, I mean!)
Or a link.
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Has anyone seen comet 17P Holmes yet
« Reply #6 on: 01/11/2007 19:55:18 »
The link that I gave you should give you precisely where to find it.

In the UK if you look north west just as its got dark it is a handwidth or so above the horizon near a brightish star in Perseus.  By late evening it is just about overhead.  Another way of finding it is to look for the W of Cassiopeia (diametrically opposite the plough) following the pointers past the pole star.  This is a bit higher in the north western sky just as it's got dark.  Follow the line drawn from the middle star to the base of the first V  of The  VV  almost straight down about half way towards the horizon.  You will for the next few days see a triangle of brightish "stars"  the  one to the left of the two that are in the line towards the horizon is the comet and should look fuzzy to the naked eye and very like a disk in binoculars or a small telescope  over the next week or two it will get closer and closer to the upper brighter star pass close by it and continue on a slightly curvong path away from it on the other side  (see the chart in  http://www.cometography.com/pcomets/017p.html  )
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Has anyone seen comet 17P Holmes yet
« Reply #7 on: 01/11/2007 20:01:38 »
Thats annoying Just noticed that the website's been updated with lots of new pictures and the excellent finder chart seems to have gone.
 

Offline ukmicky

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Has anyone seen comet 17P Holmes yet
« Reply #8 on: 01/11/2007 22:24:46 »
Is that the comet that brightened up because they believe hit something as it passed through the asteroid belt.
 

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Has anyone seen comet 17P Holmes yet
« Reply #8 on: 01/11/2007 22:24:46 »

 

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