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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Comet Holmes photos
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10/28/2007 10:17:26 PM · #1
I haven't seen any discussion here yet about this very unusual comet, which just underwent a dramatic and nearly unprecedented brightening in the past several days. It's now an easy naked-eye object and very easy to photograph, even without a telescope:

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The above three photos are, from left to right, 70mm (10 seconds), 200mm (5 seconds) and 400mm (3 seconds). I'll post details of the shots on the photos shortly, and I'll post a link about finding the comet if anyone else wants to try.

Comet 17P/Holmes is the name (to facilitate internet searching). There's a great discussion on the front page of SpaceWeather.com with some photos and links.

A good article with instructions for finding it yourself can be found on Sky and Telescope's page.


Message edited by author 2007-10-28 22:26:38.
10/28/2007 10:25:09 PM · #2
It is unusual (no tail) in that it looks like it's headed toward us. I don't know much about comets but isn't the tail visible in almost all trajectories (POV)?
10/28/2007 10:25:52 PM · #3
Sweet...I'm going to check it out...

10/28/2007 10:28:22 PM · #4
Originally posted by swhiddon:

It is unusual (no tail) in that it looks like it's headed toward us. I don't know much about comets but isn't the tail visible in almost all trajectories (POV)?


I haven't read enough about it, but I'd guess it's close to opposition (opposite the sun in the sky) so it could be that the tail (if any) is pointed directly away from Earth, more or less. Keep in mind that this would in no way indicate that it's on a collision course with the Earth, just that it happens to be close to opposition much like the moon is once per month (at full moon).
10/28/2007 10:37:53 PM · #5
Originally posted by strangeghost:

Originally posted by swhiddon:

It is unusual (no tail) in that it looks like it's headed toward us. I don't know much about comets but isn't the tail visible in almost all trajectories (POV)?


I haven't read enough about it, but I'd guess it's close to opposition (opposite the sun in the sky) so it could be that the tail (if any) is pointed directly away from Earth, more or less. Keep in mind that this would in no way indicate that it's on a collision course with the Earth, just that it happens to be close to opposition much like the moon is once per month (at full moon).

Yea I know it's not headed toward earth :). I forgot that a comets tail is almost always facing away from the Sun. But it is odd for a comet to be that bright without seeing the tail. I remember seeing Haley's comet and hail bob comet, both times the tail was visible.

Message edited by author 2007-10-28 22:38:25.
10/28/2007 10:43:41 PM · #6
Originally posted by swhiddon:


Yea I know it's not headed toward earth :). I forgot that a comets tail is almost always facing away from the Sun. But it is odd for a comet to be that bright without seeing the tail. I remember seeing Haley's comet and hail bob comet, both times the tail was visible.

Again, I'm not read up on it yet, but what appears to have happened is that a week ago, it underwent this really unusually rapid and intense brightening. What probably happened is some type of explosive outburst from the nucleus, and now a bright gas/dust cloud is expanding in a spherical shape around it. It probably will eventually form a tail, but it is expected to be a short, stubby one. It will be very interesting to watch as it continues to develop in the coming weeks!
10/28/2007 10:49:32 PM · #7
Thanks for posting. I'm going to let my brother know, he has a telescope that he only uses every now and then. I going to read the links you post to find out whats the best time for viewing. See if I can get a shot of it with my canon 70-300 IS USM lens.
10/28/2007 10:55:05 PM · #8
In another recent unusual comet-related event, a Coronal Mass Ejection from the Sun ripped the tail off Comet Encke -- you can see a cool "movie" photographed by a solar-exploration satellite at the above link.
10/29/2007 07:39:54 AM · #9
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an outstanding telescoping shot of Comet Holmes. Check it out!
10/29/2007 08:39:13 AM · #10
Thanks for posting John.
Will get my telescope out tonight and try and get some shots as it looks to be clear.
Is it going to stay this bright for long or will it be gone in a few days?
10/29/2007 09:08:49 AM · #11
Originally posted by marbo:

Thanks for posting John.
Will get my telescope out tonight and try and get some shots as it looks to be clear.
Is it going to stay this bright for long or will it be gone in a few days?

Nobody knows. It's already passed its closest point to the sun, so it's getting farther away every day. Its brightening event was totally unexpected and not very well understood, so it's hard to tell how long it will last. I want to do some telescopic pics too, but don't know when I'll have the time to set up the beast.

Message edited by author 2007-10-29 09:09:08.
10/29/2007 08:09:57 PM · #12
Got a pic of it tonight. It`s a very strange looking thing and quite bright and easy to photograph. I think that`s a background star near the center.
Looks like a star to the naked eye but looks great in binoculars.
Well worth a look. Find it here.

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Message edited by author 2007-10-29 20:17:29.
10/29/2007 08:13:49 PM · #13
So, where is it and at what time? I still don't see any links to find it. Though, we've cloud cover around here tonight anyway ... :-(
10/29/2007 08:18:37 PM · #14
Originally posted by GeneralE:

So, where is it and at what time? I still don't see any links to find it. Though, we've cloud cover around here tonight anyway ... :-(


Sky map...
10/29/2007 08:20:18 PM · #15
I think I read that this comet has no tail right now, and that it'll be around for a few more weeks as it dims.
10/29/2007 08:55:33 PM · #16
Sheesh Mark, truly outstanding shooting. Almost makes me want to get the scope out and go for it. Almost.

What are the technicals of your shots?
10/29/2007 10:33:16 PM · #17
Did this drawing tonight. The comet is very bright and looks great at 20X using a wide field eyepiece.

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10/29/2007 10:41:08 PM · #18
John, you've got the extended halo some people have been talking about. Very nice sketch!
Edit: This is strangeghost using my daughter's account accidently.

Message edited by author 2007-10-29 22:41:38.
10/29/2007 10:50:49 PM · #19
Originally posted by smartypants:

John, you've got the extended halo some people have been talking about. Very nice sketch!
Edit: This is strangeghost using my daughter's account accidently.


That halo is easy to see even here where the skies are mediocre at best. Only could see it at low power though but the cone shape appeared to only get stronger with more magnification.
Beautiful skies tonight.
10/30/2007 12:44:01 AM · #20
Thanks John for the info. We went out and put the spotting scope on it. Really cool, can't wait until we get a real clear night and I can get out of town to see it better.

Marbo, great shots. Looks just like what we saw an hour ago.

Van
10/30/2007 04:44:01 AM · #21
Originally posted by strangeghost:

Sheesh Mark, truly outstanding shooting. Almost makes me want to get the scope out and go for it. Almost.

What are the technicals of your shots?


Thanks John, you must get your scope out and have a look at this thing before it fades.
I shot with orion europa 8" f6 reflector,iso 1000 for 20s.

That`s a great drawing jmritz, very realistic.

10/31/2007 01:27:14 AM · #22
[thumb]606863[/thumb] [thumb]606864[/thumb] [thumb]606865[/thumb]

With an ordinary tripod and no tracking, this is the best I could shoot with my equipment tonight. Shooting info is with the images.
11/01/2007 12:43:34 AM · #23
Bump---- Anyone with anything new to show? Any tales of aliean abductions related to the return of the comet or maybe some images?
11/01/2007 01:29:50 AM · #24
Took this on my way to work ...

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11/01/2007 02:20:11 AM · #25
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Took this on my way to work ...

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Notice he uses a 5D?

R.
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