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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

Achim Schaller,
Black Forest, Germany
Oct. 28, 2007
#1, #2,

Even with the naked eye we could see the difference between the stars and the diffuse starlike comet Holmes. Through our 12" Dobsonian telescope, even with the smallest power the comet was awesome. To take a detailed photo I did put my Nikon D200 with the tripod on the equatorial platform of my Dobsonian.

Photo details: Nikon D200 (ISO400 30s Exposure) with Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye at f4 Detail image: Nikon D200 (ISO 1600, 8 Images stacked, t = 10s each) with 300mm/f5.6

Terry Pundiak, M.D.
Easton, PA
Oct. 28, 2007

Just in time for Halloween--a Goblin Comet! (See the entry below for an explanation of Comet Holmes' two "eyes.")

Photo details: 16 inch Meade Dobsonian, Nikon D40x hand held in eyepiece - 1.5 second exposure asa 1600

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre,
Woburn, Massachusetts
Oct. 28, 2007

Nope. Comet Holmes is not breaking up. The comet was just passing by a pair of faint background stars. According to Starry Night Pro 5.0, the star to the right of the psudonucleus is TYC3334-788-1 (mag. 9.21) while the fainter one below it is TYC3334-738-1 (mag. 10.84).

Photo details: 8-inch f/10 Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, Canon EOS 20D digital SLR camera.

Dave Eagle,
Higham Ferrers, England
Oct. 28, 2007
#1, more

Skies finally cleared here in England for me to get a view. Easy naked eye object showing slightly orange hue. Looks more like a planetary nebula than a comet. Image shows the Moon taken with the same setup to show how big this strange comet is. Wonderful.

Robert Saint-Jean,
Saint-Bruno, Quebec, Canada
Oct. 28, 2007

Very windy and cold but the show was worth it! Several stars can be seen through the coma.

Thomas Collin,
Trois-Rivières, Québec
Oct. 28, 2007

These two photos show that the second nucleus is actually a star.

Pete Lawrence,
Selsey, West Sussex, UK
Oct. 28, 2007

After a week of cloud, a gap finally appeared and passes over much of the UK tonight allowing many to get their first decent glimpse of this amazing comet. This shot is a quickly composed composite of several different exposures showing the inner and outer coma. The outer part appears as a misty green envelope, very noticeable on longer exposures. Some interesting inner coma detail is also evident on a number of large telescope runs I did this evening which I'm still working on.

Thorsten Boeckel,
Fuerstenfeldbruck, Bavaria, South Germany
Oct. 29, 2007
#1, more

The expansion of the comet since two days in comparision. Since the 27th of october the diameter grew apprx. 2,5 times. Phantastic view, but the moon distubance is really hard.

Glen Pidsadnick - Brian Pihack,
Niagara on the Lake Ontario
Oct. 28, 2007

Photo details: Power Shot S31S @9:18 f 2.7 iso 100 C-8

Laurent Laveder,
Quimper, Bretagne, France
Oct. 28, 2007
#1, #2, #3, #4, more

Yesterday night, despite some clouds, the Moon and the street lights, the comet Holmes was perfectly visible, even through the window! Now, the comet is big enough to be distinguish from stars. It is still in the Perseus' thigh. It has just move a little northward from 4 days before. By chance, some droplets of the same size give me a bright and colorful corona around the Moon visible not to far from the comet. Two in one!

Photo details: Canon 30D + Sigma 30mm stop to 4.0 and 70 mm stop to 6.3. 2 s at 400 ISO.

Xiang Zhan,
Beijing Planetarium, Beijing, China
Oct. 28, 2007
#1, more

It was very clear in Beijing this day. The comet was very easy to see in Beijing - such a very big city.

Photo details: Canon 30D DSLR, Meade LX200 GPS 16" telescope, ISO 400, 10s, combined with 9 photoes.

Greg Mort,
Ashton Maryland USA
Oct. 26, 2007
#1, more

The unusual Comet Holmes looking like an "Electric Dandelion" a fantastic three dimentional sight unlike any cometary visitor I've ever seen.

more images (Oct. 28): from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna ,Sweden; from Alan C Tough of Elgin, Moray, Scotland; from Efrain Morales of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; from John C McConnell of Maghaberry Northern Ireland; from Glenn Marsden of J.A. Jones Hoober Observatory, Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society; from Doug Zubenel of De Soto, Kansas.; from Gary A. Becker of Coopersburg, PA; from Philippe Moussette of Québec Canada; from Mila Zinkova of San Francisco, California; from John Baxter of New Concord, Ohio; from Frank M. Klicar of Downers Grove, IL; from John S. Gianforte of Durham, NH; from Robert Watkins of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; from Don Spain of Little Bear Observatory, Hillview, KY; from Ari Koutsouradis of Westminster Maryland, USA; from Charlie Kiesel of Fort Branch, Indiana; from George Lilley of the K9 Observatory; from Wayne Baggett of Columbia, Maryland; from Albino Carbognani of Saint Barthelemy Observatory, Aosta, Italy; from Rolando Ligustri of the CAST observatory in Talmassons ITALY; from Vance Bagwell of Cedar Hill, Texas; from Joe Carr of Observatory Hill, Victoria, BC, Canada;