Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

A Last Look At Comet Holmes

On November 4th, Comet 17P/Holmes was about 2nd magnitude and spanned approximately 20 arc-minutes on the sky, about 2/3 the size of the Full Moon. Separate 20-second exposures through r, i and z filters were combined to make this monster 16-megapixel full-color view. The Megacam instrument at the MMT Observatory was used for this image. Credit: M. Ashby and N. Caldwell (CfA)
by Staff Writers
Cambridge MA (SPX) Nov 28, 2007
Comet 17P/Holmes, which dazzled sky watchers with a dramatic outburst that made it visible to the unaided eye, now is fading from sight. However, before it returns to the obscurity from which it came, astronomers at the MMT Observatory took a final look. In late October, Holmes brightened by a factor of about one million times when it ejected a vast cloud of dust and gas. That cloud expanded over time and now spans more than 870,000 miles, making it larger than the Sun (which is 865,000 miles in diameter).

On November 4, Smithsonian scientists snapped this photo of Comet Holmes using an instrument called Megacam, which is one of the largest CCD cameras in existence. Megacam holds 36 9-megapixel CCD chips, for a total of more than 300 megapixels.

Separate exposures through three color filters were combined to make this final, full-color image. Individual stars appear as a line of colored dots because the photos were centered on the comet, which moved slightly across the sky.

Currently, Comet Holmes has a total brightness of 3rd magnitude, however its large size on the sky (and resulting low surface brightness) makes it difficult to see without binoculars or a telescope. However, when it was discovered in 1892 it underwent a second bright outburst five months after the first. If Holmes repeats its historical performance, then this comet may offer viewers one more chance to see the show before it bows from the stage.

Related Links
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Rosetta Swing-By A Success
Paris, France (ESA) Nov 14, 2007
An important milestone has just been accomplished as Rosetta successfully swung by Earth at 21:57 CET. The spacecraft will now be catapulted towards the outer Solar System with its newly-gained energy before coming back to Earth for another boost.

  • Defense Focus: Engineer truths -- Part 1
  • Northrop Grumman Demonstrates New Rocket Engine Design Using Oxygen And Methane Propellants
  • Indigenous Cryogenic Stage Successfully Qualified
  • Groundbreaking Signals Start Of NASA Constellation Flight Tests

  • Sea Launch Reschedules The Thuraya-3 Launch Campaign
  • Thuraya-3 Satellite Launch Delayed Again
  • Russia To Launch Manned Spacecraft From New Site In 2018
  • Site Thefts Place Russian Rocket Launches Under Threat In French Guiana

  • Shuttle Flight Readiness Review This Week
  • Fairford Airmen Prepare For Shuttle Launch
  • US Lawmakers Grill Space Agency On Plans For Shuttle Retirement
  • Atlantis At The Pad

  • Spacewalkers Complete More Harmony Hookup Work
  • Columbus Poised For Research Breakthroughs
  • US astronauts walk in space to fix up lab
  • Expedition 16 Completes Spacewalk

  • Jogging To Mars
  • SPACEHAB Supporting Key Milestones Under NASA Space Act Agreement
  • Brazil to invest 28 bln dollars in science and technology: Lula
  • Orbital Outfitters Debuts IS3C - First-Ever Fully Functional Commercial Pressure Spacesuit

  • China Completes Enclosure Of Land For Fourth Satellite Launch Center
  • China Has No Timetable For Manned Moon Landing
  • Chinese plan manned space launch
  • New Rocket Set To Blast Off By 2013

  • New Japanese lightweight robot on wheels can talk
  • Can A Robot Find A Rock. Interview With David Wettergreen: Part IV
  • Proton Rocket To Launch Glonass Satellites Friday
  • QinetiQ Establishes Service And Support Centre For Talon Robots In Australia

  • New Views Of Martian Moons
  • HiRISE Camera Views Spirit At Home Plate
  • Life on Mars - Viking Revisited
  • Opportunity Peers Beneath Surface Of Bathtub Ring

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement