Comet 17P/Holmes

This was an odd comet that lay nearly dormant for many years and now suddenly came to life. It put on quite a show. Unfortunately, whatever tail it had, it pointed away from us and we saw none or nearly none. It brought to mind what the “Christmas Star” should have been, if it were a comet. It seemed to stay mostly in place (spent most of its’ time in Perseus), and just grew bigger and more diffuse over time.

Where most comets show a greenish tint, this one sometimes showed a yellowish tint.


In this 2st photo, the comet simply appears as an out-of-place star in the First observation report from 10/24/09.

constellation of Perseus. It formed a nice triangle with Alpha and Delta After reading about this comet's outburst online,

Persei. Oct 10/24/07 6:51pm CDT from Lake St Louis, MO went out and found it as around a 2nd

(Sony Cybershot DSC-075, 8 secs. at F/2.5, ISO 400, 21mm FL) magnitude "guest star" in Perseus. :

2nd Observation report: 3rd observation report 4th observation report


In the 2nd photo below, the comet has moved slightly towards

Mirfak (a Persei). Oct 31, 2007 8:3pm CDT from Lake St

Fourth observation report (Oct 31, 2007) Louis, MO (Sony DSC-075 f/2,.8, SO 400, 8 secs.)

Sixth Observation Report 7th observation report 8th observation report

After 11/9/07 this comet became so large (and so very diffuse) that it was less interesting in a telescope at 60x or 80x (spilling beyond the FOV) than it was in binos at 10x. I quit doing observing reports, but managed one more photo after breaking open my Christmas present (a new Nikon D40 camera) a "bit" early.

In the 3rd photo below, the comet is obvious, with a large, diffuse coma, now VERY near Mirfak (a Persei).

Nov 14, 2007 6:58pm CST from Lake St Louis, MO

(Nikon D40, ISO 1600, 15 secs.,f/5.6, 55mm FL)