October 25, 2007

Mega Outburst in Comet 17/Holmes

The magnitude 17 comet, Holmes, has experienced a tremendous boost in brightness. It jumped almost instantly from magnitude 17 to magnitude 3, an increase of about one million times brighter!

This makes a near-impossible comet to observe a naked-eye object in Perseus. Slew eastward from Alpha Perseii and you will run across it.

There is a distinct yellowish color to the comet. It is expected to stay bright for at least a week, at which time is will decrease in magnitude slowly until it is invisible, and ultimately, back to its original magnitude of 17.
New reports are putting the comet at a magnitude 2.8, which is brighter than its original magnitude when it was first discovered during an outburst in 1892.
This photo was taken by platarko on the Cloudy Night Forums.