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Old 11-03-2007, 03:39 AM   #1
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astronomy alert! naked eye comet visible!

this is an interesting one!


(it's the little yellow dot in the above pic)

http://forum.interference.com/newthr...ad&forumid=200


Quote:
Friday, November 2, 2007
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A comet that has unexpectedly brightened in the past couple of weeks and now is visible to the naked eye is attracting professional and amateur interest.

Paul Lewis, director of astronomy outreach at the University of Tennessee, is drawing students to the roof of Nielsen Physics Building for special viewings of Comet 17P/Holmes.
The comet is exploding and its coma, a cloud of gas and dust illuminated by the sun, has grown to be bigger than the planet Jupiter. The comet lacks the tail usually associated with such celestial bodies but can be seen in the northern sky, in the constellation Perseus, as a fuzzy spot of light about as bright as the stars in the Big Dipper.

"This is truly a celestial surprise," Lewis said. "Absolutely amazing."
Until Oct. 23, the comet had been visible to modern astronomers only with a telescope, but that night it suddenly erupted and expanded.

A similar burst in 1892 led to the comet's discovery by Edwin Holmes.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime event to witness, along the lines of when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashed into Jupiter back in 1994," Lewis said.

Scientists speculate the comet has exploded because there are sinkholes in its nucleus, giving it a honeycomb-like structure. The collapse exposed comet ice to the sun, which transformed the ice into gas.

"What comets do when they are near the sun is very unpredictable," Lewis said. "We expect to see a coma cloud and a tail, but this is more like an explosion, and we are seeing the bubble of gas and dust as it expands away from the center of the blast."
Experts aren't sure how long the comet's show will last, but estimate it could be weeks - if not months. Using a telescope or binoculars help bring the comet's details into view, they said.
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Old 11-03-2007, 12:12 PM   #2
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Cool!
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Old 11-03-2007, 12:49 PM   #3
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"This is a once-in-a-lifetime event to witness, along the lines of when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashed into Jupiter back in 1994," Lewis said.
Err...no.

This is nowhere NEAR Shoemaker-Levy, but cool nonetheless.
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Old 11-03-2007, 12:59 PM   #4
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A friend mentioned this last night and we tried to look for it, but had no luck........will try again tonight.
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:33 PM   #5
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Originally posted by DaveC


Err...no.

This is nowhere NEAR Shoemaker-Levy, but cool nonetheless.
i don't think shoemaker-levy was visible to the naked eye was it?
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:17 PM   #6
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No, but Shoemaker-Levy was the kind of show that happens once every 10,000 years (if that). And you could see it if you had a high-powered pair of binoculars or an amateur telescope.

This is fairly regular (100 years or so is peanuts in astronomy, relatively speaking). I'd compare this to Halley's Comet. It's cool, but it's not extraordinarily rare by any stretch.
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Old 11-04-2007, 04:04 AM   #7
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We were at a cook-out at a state park campgrounds way out on the prairie Saturday night--darker than the inside of a boot out there, so the stars and planets were quite spectacular. Comet Holmes, however, was not that impressive--more like a fuzzy spot. Hale-Bopp a few years back was much more interesting!
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:36 AM   #8
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How far out is this visible? East Coast?
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:23 PM   #9
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Originally posted by Utoo
How far out is this visible? East Coast?
it should be visible anywhere in the northern hemisphere where you can see constellation perseus. it just depends on how bright the area you live in is. the more light pollution, the harder it will be to find the comet.
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Old 11-04-2007, 03:19 PM   #10
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Originally posted by ABEL


it should be visible anywhere in the northern hemisphere where you can see constellation perseus. it just depends on how bright the area you live in is. the more light pollution, the harder it will be to find the comet.
So much for seeing it here in DC. Wow, never thought I'd miss New Jersey.
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:57 AM   #11
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well i just stepped out to take the trash out and spent a little time looking upwards.

i found cassiopeia right away. pretty much is the W looking thing straight overhead (around 12am - 1am). i saw perseus too but i didn't have a star chart with me to find exactly where the comet is. i'm not that familiar with perseus.

but casseopeia is VERY easy to spot. it's the W looking shape, or some people see it as an M. looking almost straight up and kinda northwest.

usually the sky is darkest after 1am till dawn too. the stars were breathtaking when i went out just now even for the city. but when i went out earlier the sky was murky with all kinds of dust and light pollution.

hope this helps in finding perseus for those who don't know where to look.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:06 PM   #12
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Does anyone want something far more spectacular than comet hale bopp (1997) that actually happened in 2007...look no further than Comet McNaught. This comet made it's unusually bright appearence in January 2007 - look up "Comet McNuaght" in google images...HOLY SHIT!!! This is not in any way saying that Comet Holmes wasn't as "good" a celestial event...actually it was more spectacular in that it "exploded" to a million times it's size and some reports stated that at one point it's light was bigger than the sun. What really bothers me is the fact that the mainstream media and for that matter the so called alternative media all ignored these two terrific events. Why???
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harry Vest
Does anyone want something far more spectacular than comet hale bopp (1997) that actually happened in 2007...look no further than Comet McNaught. This comet made it's unusually bright appearence in January 2007 - look up "Comet McNuaght" in google images...HOLY SHIT!!! This is not in any way saying that Comet Holmes wasn't as "good" a celestial event...actually it was more spectacular in that it "exploded" to a million times it's size and some reports stated that at one point it's light was bigger than the sun. What really bothers me is the fact that the mainstream media and for that matter the so called alternative media all ignored these two terrific events. Why???
Your "reports" are false. That's why mainstream media ignored it.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harry Vest
Does anyone want something far more spectacular than comet hale bopp (1997) that actually happened in 2007...look no further than Comet McNaught. This comet made it's unusually bright appearence in January 2007 - look up "Comet McNuaght" in google images...HOLY SHIT!!! This is not in any way saying that Comet Holmes wasn't as "good" a celestial event...actually it was more spectacular in that it "exploded" to a million times it's size and some reports stated that at one point it's light was bigger than the sun. What really bothers me is the fact that the mainstream media and for that matter the so called alternative media all ignored these two terrific events. Why???

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