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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

Odd Høydalsvik,
Bergen, Norway
Oct. 25, 2007
#1, more

Very strange comet indeed. The picture was taken at Sandsli outside Bergen, Norway. October 25, 2007, 20:29 UT+2. Conditions: Thin clouds. Camera: Canon EOS 30D. Telescope: William Optics ZenithStar 80 II ED APO refractor Exposure: 1 sec, f6.8, at 800 ISO, 5 exposures aligned and stacked manually in PhotoShop CS2.

Ilia Teimouri,
Oct. 25, 2007
#1, more

I can say this comet is just extra amazing. This is very big, bright and beautiful. I found and captured image easily with much light pollution, in Tehran city. I captured these image with Canon EOS 20D, EQ6 mount and Meade 8" Telescope and edited with Photoshop CS2, also I took nebula-broadband filter for better resolution. You can see this comet with the naked-eye when the great moon in the sky.

Jack Dembicky,
Sunspot, New Mexico, USA
Oct. 25, 2007

Taken with SPIcam on the ARC 3.5m Telescope at Apache Point Observatory 1sec exposure each in MSSSO RGB filters

Jimmy Westlake,
Stagecoach, Colorado USA
Oct. 25, 2007
#1, #2, #3, more

Holy smoke! This is one of the weirdest things I've ever seen. Reminiscent of Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock back in '83, yet strangely different. I wonder what it will do next? All images made with a Fuji FinePix S2 digital camera at ISO 400. #1 with 54 mm lens at f4, 64 sec exposure, 12:16 AM MDT #2 with 300 mm lens at f4, 62 sec exposure, 12:25 AM MDT #3 with 2100 mm 11" telescope at prime focus, 20 sec exposure, 12:41 AM MDT

Chris Schur,
Payson, Arizona
Oct. 24, 2007
#1, #2, more

The comet was bright yellow with a green halo, very bright in viewfinder. taken with 12.5" f/5 newtonian and Canon XTi.

Chris Peterson,
Guffey, Colorado, USA
Oct. 25, 2007
#1, more

These images were made with a Canon 300D at ISO 200 on a 12" LX200. The left side is a 1-sec exposure and shows the sunlight illuminated central coma, very much as it appeared visually. The right side is a 5-min exposure that shows the glowing ionized gas in the outer coma.

Mick Benedetti,
Mackay, Queensland, Australia
Oct. 26, 2007
#1, more

I was able to observe this comet at 2:00am, it has no visible tail but with a near full moon I didn't expect to see one. It is planet like with a yellowish colour, a very easy naked eye object to view even with strong moon light. It was a beautiful sight from tropical North Queensland. I snapped the attached photo with my Nikon coolpix 4500.

Michel Renaud,
Laval Observatory (Quebec, Canada)
Oct. 24, 2007
#1, #2, #3, #4, more

After our regular astronomy meeting, members of our club went to our Laval Observatory to see this comet. Fantastic event... WOW ! Easy to target.

Philip Good,
Denver, Colorado, USA
Oct. 25, 2007
#1, more

Between 11 PM when I went to bed and 4 am when I got up the comet seemed to have grown by about 25%. Imaged with a Stellarvue SV115 APO refractor and SBIG ST-10XME CCD Camera. 40 image each LRGB of 1.5 seconds each.

Alan Friedman,
Buffalo, NY
Oct. 25, 2007
#1, more

In my 92mm refractor, 17P/Holmes has the look of a planetary nebula. In my 10" its core and coma are easily seen. It shows a golden color - like polished bronze.

David Cardeñosa,
Arroyo de la Encomienda, Valladolid, Spain
Oct. 24, 2007
#1, #2,

Pictures taken with Celestron C8 SC, EQ6 mount. Camera Philips SPC900. Procesed with registax. Fixed picture taken at 22:15UT Animation from 21:45UT to 22:30UT, show a bit size change.

more images (Oct. 24): from Joe Gafford of Denver, Colorado; from Anthony Arrigo of Park City, Utah; from Jeremy Perez of Flagstaff, Arizona; from John C McConnell of Maghaberry Northern Ireland; from Malcolm Park of Whitby Ontario Canada, east of Toronto; from Bob Minor of Berkeley, California; from Brenda Culbertson of the Crane Observatory, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas; from Tomasz Adam of Staszów, Poland; from Philippe Boeuf of Near Carcassone, south of France.