A Comet for Halloween

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).

Comet 17P/Holmes
An image of comet 17P/Holmes taken at the James C. Veen Observatory

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