Comet Holmes




Naked Eye 
November 14, 2007   0:15 UT 
Comet Holmes is immediately visible to the naked eye, even within the city. Looking NE it can be seen just to the left of Mirfak in Perseus, about 2 degrees away. It appears as a roughly 3rd magnitude round fuzzy glow.

North is at 10 o'clock, East at 1 o'clock

4.5'' reflector  22 x 
November 14, 2007   0:35 UT 
Holmes is large even at low power in the 4.5" GEO scope (25mm 40degree AFOV ep.). The comet is very circular in shape, approximately 30' in size. With averted vision can clearly see a distinction in brightness between the outer shell of the coma versus the central core which is brighter and slightly elongated. Several background stars shine through the comet from behind! The leading edge of the comet is very distinct, forming a backwards 'C'. The back half of the comet is less distinct, fading into the background gradually.

What was notably different about this comet is that it experienced a very large outburst in brightness and size 6 months after perihelion; at this date we were looking straight-on to the head of the comet with the tail trailing directly behind it from our vantage point. This is because the comet was very near opposition from Earth.

North is at 4 o'clock, East at 1 o'clock