From: LARRY KLAES (ljk4_at_msn.com)
Date: Thu Oct 25 2007 - 10:53:09 PDT
>From: David Morrison <david.morrison_at_nasa.gov>
>To: David Morrison <david.morrison_at_nasa.gov>
>Subject: NEO News (10/25/07) Amazing Comet Holmes
>Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 10:14:04 -0700
>NEO News (10/25/07) Amazing Comet Holmes
>This is a special note to alert you to something you may want to see,
>especially if you have access to a small telescope.
>Approximately 36 hours ago Comet Holmes (a normally inconspicuous
>Jupiter-family comet with aphelion at the orbit of Jupiter and perihelion
>at 2.2 AU) brightened by almost a million-fold. This is equivalent to the
>planet Saturn suddenly becoming as bright as the full moon. On October
>23-24, Comet Holmes went from magnitude 17 to magnitude 2.8 in just a few
>hours, doubling in brightness every half hour. At its discovery in 1892,
>this comet also underwent a similar sudden brightening, presumably due to a
>very large ejection of gas and dust.
>The comet is now easily visible to the naked eye as a bright yellow "star"
>in the constellation Perseus. For northern hemisphere observers, it can be
>seen almost all night, passing nearly overhead. A good source for the
>latest information is the Sky & Telescope webpage
>http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/home/10775326.html or at
>http://www.aerith.net/comet/catalog/0017P/2007.html. The best finding chart
>I have seen is on the Netherlands webpage http://www.shopplaza.nl/astro/.
>I looked at the comet about midnight last night from the balcony of my
>urban townhouse. It was about magnitude three, and at low telescopic power
>it was conspicuous as a bright yellowish disk, looking almost like a
>planet. At moderate power the disk resolved into a very bright inner coma
>and a slightly asymmetric fainter outer cloud, but no tail was visible. I
>have never before seen anything like it.
>NEO News (now in its thirteenth year of distribution) is an informal
>compilation of news and opinion dealing with Near Earth Objects (NEOs) and
>their impacts. These opinions are the responsibility of the individual
>authors and do not represent the positions of NASA, the International
>Astronomical Union, or any other organization. To subscribe (or
>unsubscribe) contact dmorrison_at_arc.nasa.gov. For additional information,
>please see the website http://impact.arc.nasa.gov. If anyone wishes to copy
>or redistribute original material from these notes, fully or in part,
>please include this disclaimer.
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