Last week a surprising visitor showed up unannounced in the skies – a comet. Now, this comet, called 17P/Holmes, has been around a while, and is usually an extremely dim object, needing large telescopes to see. But early last week the comet underwent a “super outburst” and became over 600,000 times brighter! In the space of a few hours, it went from a really dim object to one that you could see without a telescope.
Over the past week it has gotten bigger and brighter, and is easily seen in the northeast sky in the constellation Perseus (click here for graphic).
An image of comet 17P/Holmes taken at the James C. Veen Observatory