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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Comet Alert!

From Space Weather:

Astronomers in Japan, Persia and Europe report that Comet 17P/Holmes is undergoing a spectacular eruption. The 17th magnitude comet has brightened by a factor of five hundred thousand or more during the past 24 hours becoming a naked-eye object in the evening sky. Look for a yellow 2.5th magnitude fuzzball in the constellation Perseus after sunset...
The outburst may signify a breakup of the comet's core or a rich vein of ice suddenly exposed to sunlight--no one knows. At present the comet looks more like a star than a comet; it does not have a discernable tail, but it might grow one as the outburst continues.

[my emphasis] [Persia??] More, including a pic, at the link. Not too spectacular now, but stay tuned.