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Old Nov 7 2007, 12:53 AM   #1
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Default Comet Holmes

Has anyone else gone outside to see this visible to the naked eye comet?

Hubby and I went out to see it and I can glory in the fact that I found it before he did, and He's the astronomy teacher. We even pulled the telescope out to the back porch for better viewing. It was really cool. Without the telescope it looks like a little star sized fuzzy cotton ball to me.

There's a guide to finding it here
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Old Nov 7 2007, 12:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

I didn't know about it. I wouldn't have been able to see anything today even if I had known about it because it was raining for most of the day today. It's stopped now, but it's still really cloudy, so I won't be seeing much of anything in the sky for the rest of the night .
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Old Nov 7 2007, 02:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

If I ever make it out of the bright city lights, then I will try to see it.
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Old Nov 7 2007, 04:38 AM   #4
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As soon as the clouds go away...
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Old Nov 7 2007, 06:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Yes, we've been able to see it twice now! All we have are binoculars, but it is still very amazing! A fuzzy cotton ball is a good description, Pam!
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Old Nov 7 2007, 08:39 AM   #6
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I think I spotted it on the way home from a fireworks party on Monday, when the sky was clear but I didn't have my binoculars with me. Next time there's a clear evening I'm going to have a look with my large binoculars.

Kath, here's a to some nice clear evenings in the UK.
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Old Nov 7 2007, 08:43 AM   #7
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There's street lights here! I woke up at 6 and went to look outside but the area is just all lights!
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Old Nov 7 2007, 11:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Hey, my sis in law is an astronomy instructor, too. We had the telescope out and looked at it. We could see it with the naked eye, too. It is always nice to look at the stars with someone that can explain things to you.
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Old Nov 7 2007, 03:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Edith, you need to go further away from the lights. There should be some dark areas in Mid Wales, although that probably involves going into the mountains... at 6am... ok, I see the problem now. You need a power cut or something.

Wild idea: If your street lights are mostly the yellow sodium variety, try looking through a blue filter (e.g. a blue sweet wrapper). Does that help? It will make the comet fainter, but it will make the street lights even fainter and improve the contrast. You can get special-purpose astronomy filters to reduce the effect of street lights, but they are rather expensive. Moving away from the lights is still the best option.
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Old Nov 7 2007, 03:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Priscilla View Post
Yes, we've been able to see it twice now! All we have are binoculars, but it is still very amazing!
A bright comet is usually much better seen through binoculars, unless you have a telescope with a low magnification and wide field of view. At high magnification you'll lose the contrast and it won't look as good.
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Old Nov 7 2007, 03:49 PM   #11
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Edith, you need to go further away from the lights. There should be some dark areas in Mid Wales, although that probably involves going into the mountains... at 6am... ok, I see the problem now. You need a power cut or something.

Wild idea: If your street lights are mostly the yellow sodium variety, try looking through a blue filter (e.g. a blue sweet wrapper). Does that help? It will make the comet fainter, but it will make the street lights even fainter and improve the contrast. You can get special-purpose astronomy filters to reduce the effect of street lights, but they are rather expensive. Moving away from the lights is still the best option.
Its because I'm on campus. The sky itself is quite dark but I have very poor eyesight (-12.25) and I'm having eyesight problems anyway at the moment so when I looked out this morning, the lights dominated.
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Old Nov 7 2007, 04:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Nope. I've a feeling even if the sky's clear I won't be able to see it. The only naked -eye object i can see is the moon, and even my telescope doesn't pick up anything more than that., It would have to be skimming the atmosphere for me to see it.
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Old Nov 7 2007, 04:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Whoppie ...another goodie to go and find in the early morning sky. I love going out each morning to see if it is clear enough to see my *Star*...and of course anything else that I can find to look at up there...talk about your natural wonders...our stary skies are #1.
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Old Nov 7 2007, 04:53 PM   #14
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There's cloud just there! I have a NE facing window too!
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Old Nov 7 2007, 06:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Oh, Lady Maelin, you have a star? Which one?
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Old Nov 7 2007, 06:20 PM   #16
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

It's really cloudy here too. And it was clear just before sunset too.

I guess you need both a clear sky and a power cut Edith.
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Old Nov 7 2007, 06:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

*Sigh* Light cloud...
I wanna get my scope out to see if it'll pick it up!! I can just about see Saturn with rings through it... Fingers crossed for clear skies soon!
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Old Nov 7 2007, 07:03 PM   #18
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not a star in sight!

I did see something white and twinkly earlier- probably an aircraft- to the North East.
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Old Nov 8 2007, 05:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Quote:
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Oh, Lady Maelin, you have a star? Which one?
Not actually Lisa, one named after me...sigh.

It's kind of a joke with an astronomer friend of mine. Every
morning when I go outside to send my husband off to work,
I look up in the sky...use to be checking the weather. One
morning I just happened to look up and there was this lovely
huge star winking at me. So I soon looked for it..and would
say good morning to it...silly I know. Well anyways everyone
that knows me, got to calling it my star...even though I didn't
actually think it was a star...well they aren't really stars, I
know...real world science time here...sigh!!
Well one morning I got curious, and wrote a letter to my friend,
and ask him would he find out what planet I was looking at
every morning. He sent me a lovely map of the stars that are
in part of the world...and so now I know that *My Star* is
actually Venus....woooOOOOooo...now that's a real planet for a woman... So now every morning I go out and greet my
Star, Venus.

P.S. Thank you Steven for helping me to find, and put a name to my star....and for showing me all the lovely things that are in my part of the night sky to enjoy(with pardon to Lanen):wekiss
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Old Nov 8 2007, 05:23 PM   #20
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

That is a lovely story, Maelin. And it is now your star with all of us. Now, when I look at Venus, I will call it Maelin's Star!!!
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Old Nov 8 2007, 06:07 PM   #21
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Hurray! A clear night at last. Lanen and I have seen the comet. It looks like a little fuzzy ball through the small binoculars and a bigger fuzzy ball with a brighter bit in the centre through the big binoculars. This is one of the strangest comets I have ever seen. It's really unusual for a comet to be this bright and yet be so far away. There must have been one heck of an outburst to create a cloud that large. Wow! Any luck Edith?

On a different note, thank you Lady Maelin for that story about your morning star . It won't stay in the morning sky forever, though. It will gradually get lost in the sunlight and then appear a few days later as the evening star. But after a few weeks being the evening star it will be back to greet you in the morning again. If you look at Venus through a small telescope you'll see it has phases just like the Moon. It might have been smiling at you.
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Old Nov 8 2007, 06:26 PM   #22
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

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Hurray! A clear night at last. Lanen and I have seen the comet. It looks like a little fuzzy ball through the small binoculars and a bigger fuzzy ball with a brighter bit in the centre through the big binoculars. This is one of the strangest comets I have ever seen. It's really unusual for a comet to be this bright and yet be so far away. There must have been one heck of an outburst to create a cloud that large. Wow! Any luck Edith?

On a different note, thank you Lady Maelin for that story about your morning star . It won't stay in the morning sky forever, though. It will gradually get lost in the sunlight and then appear a few days later as the evening star. But after a few weeks being the evening star it will be back to greet you in the morning again. If you look at Venus through a small telescope you'll see it has phases just like the Moon. It might have been smiling at you.
No luck. Its not raining here! The sea has been flipped 90 degrees!
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Old Nov 8 2007, 06:31 PM   #23
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No luck. Its not raining here! The sea has been flipped 90 degrees!
Bummer! Sorry to hear that.
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Old Nov 8 2007, 06:39 PM   #24
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I'll be home tomorrow night though. There's binoculars at home!
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Old Nov 8 2007, 07:45 PM   #25
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Venus has long been one of my favorite things to look for in the sky. Now that I know it belongs to Master Maelin I'll love it all the more!
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Old Nov 8 2007, 10:40 PM   #26
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My usual glorious clear skies have been accomodating and I've gotten to see it the last two nights as well.
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Old Nov 9 2007, 06:11 AM   #27
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I'll be home tomorrow night though. There's binoculars at home!
Best of luck. Since this comet is far away it isn't moving very quickly, so it should be on show for several more days yet. I hope your home has fewer street lights. (Lanen and I managed to see it under the glare of one street light, though it's useful to have a second person to stand in front of the street light while you're looking .)

Pam, if you've seen it more than once have you noticed any changes in it? The cloud making up the fuzzy blob might be expanding.
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Old Nov 9 2007, 06:50 AM   #28
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Best of luck. Since this comet is far away it isn't moving very quickly, so it should be on show for several more days yet. I hope your home has fewer street lights. (Lanen and I managed to see it under the glare of one street light, though it's useful to have a second person to stand in front of the street light while you're looking .)

Pam, if you've seen it more than once have you noticed any changes in it? The cloud making up the fuzzy blob might be expanding.
We get beautifully dark skies at home!
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Old Nov 9 2007, 11:44 AM   #29
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Pam, if you've seen it more than once have you noticed any changes in it? The cloud making up the fuzzy blob might be expanding.
I haven't noticed any changes, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. I tend to go outside and say, "oh look! it's the pretty fuzzy blob. Now, where's those few constellations I know? Oh there they are. Orion is looking rather lazy over there on his side. Oooh! A shooting star! Is that light from a neighbor's house? The pleiades! My favorite! Ah, and the milky way. Oh goodness, I hope the coyotes don't decide to come by right now."

In other words, my attention isn't exactly dedicated to it I'll make a point to really look tonight.
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Old Nov 10 2007, 06:07 AM   #30
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Talking of changes to the comet, I just received this alert:

COMET TAIL: Exploding Comet 17P/Holmes continues to amaze onlookers. On Nov. 8th and 9th part of the comet's blue tail broke away in view of many backyard telescopes. Visit http://spaceweather.com to see photos of the "disconnection event" and speculation about what might have caused it.

Did anyone see this? It was cloudy here last night.
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Old Nov 10 2007, 08:31 AM   #31
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There's a lovely larger version of that photo on today's Astronomy Picture of the Day: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/

I haven't tried looking for it at all, I think I got my fill of getting up at ungodly hours back for the lunar eclipse and the Perseids. Plus my children haven't adjusted to DST and now get me up way too early on a daily basis right now, so every hour of sleep is precious. But it's nice to see the online pictures. It sure does look like a cotton ball in space!
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Old Nov 10 2007, 10:41 AM   #32
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My skies were overcast last night. I haven't had cloud cover in like a month.
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Old Nov 10 2007, 12:46 PM   #33
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I haven't tried looking for it at all, I think I got my fill of getting up at ungodly hours back for the lunar eclipse and the Perseids. Plus my children haven't adjusted to DST and now get me up way too early on a daily basis right now, so every hour of sleep is precious.
Thanks for the picture link. That's really impressive.

You don't need to get up early in the morning to see this comet. It's sufficiently far north in the sky that it's visible all night (at least it is from the UK). I saw it at 7pm. (Sorry if I gave the impression this was only visible in the morning - my fault for talking about Edith being up at 6am.)
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Old Nov 10 2007, 01:59 PM   #34
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I've been watching it at night, the first night it was 10ish, then earlier since then. I surely wouldn't have seen it multiple times if it required waking up at odd hours
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Old Nov 11 2007, 02:44 AM   #35
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I'm ! I would so love to see it.
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Old Nov 11 2007, 02:52 AM   #36
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YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, 10:41pm here in Southern California and Martin and I have just spent the last hour outside looking for the comet....and yes indeed Martin spotted it directly over our heads, in a slightly NE direction. It was so fantastic getting to see this great cosmic event.

What a incredibly thrilling thing to see...the stars in motion...WOW!!!

MoM !!! What a great place to be a member of...when you supply your membership with such lovely entertainments.
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Old Nov 11 2007, 04:32 PM   #37
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chuckles check my web page for some pics
http://www.geocities.com/bedfordshir...looh_31107.htm
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Old Nov 11 2007, 04:39 PM   #38
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Very nice, oldwolf, very nice!
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Old Nov 11 2007, 05:40 PM   #39
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I don't think we saw the comet. We did see something Due East and orange at about midnight on Friday.
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Old Nov 11 2007, 11:13 PM   #40
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Oldwolf, thats it...thats exactly what we saw...that is fantastic to see it up close like that. Did you take those incredible photos..???
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The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression,and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cut out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived........Howard Pyle
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