Comet 17P/Holmes .............................................................................Page Updated 2nd December 2008

24th February 2008

The comet is no longer visible to the naked eye but is still a large diffuse object when imaged in wide field cameras. The image left is only showing the central nucleus of the comet and it is showing a smaller inner coma. Guide 8 has the comet at 19.3 but it is brighter than that for sure. Distance from earth is 2.83 AU (423 362 000 km /263 063 000 miles).

7th December 2007 by Dave Storey

The very large comet 17P/Holmes was imaged but due to its angular size, the attached image only shows the central part of the coma. The comet itself is still visible to the naked eye as a fuzzy patch in Perseus. It was similar in appearance as the naked eye view of the double star cluster also in Perseus. The true diameter of this comet exceeds the diameter of the Sun. (1.39 million km / 870 thousand miles) and makes this comet the largest object in our solar system!

11th November 2007 by Dave Storey

The comet still remains an easy naked eye, fuzzy star in Perseus at magnitude +3.0  James Martin and myself did some imaging of the comet with the CCD and the comet is so big now, we have taken two images and stitched them together to get a full view of the comets coma. There is still no tail to the comet. This being due to any tail pointing away from us? There is some indication of linear structure in the coma. What I find really great about this comet is its perfect smooth fuzzy ball shape. It really looks best through a pair of binoculars than the large telescope we where using tonight.

8th November 2007 by Dave Storey

A splendid site is to be had in the constellation of Perseus with the sudden brightness outburst of comet 17P/Holmes. This comet is normally very faint at magnitude +17, but around the 24th October, it began to brighten a million fold. I was working away in Sweden when Richard Miles attempted to contact me to image this exceptional event as the UK mainland was clouded out except the IoM. Anyway, he was able to contact James Martin in Peel who was able to confirm the comets activity. Back in Sweden, the cloud only cleared on two days of the two weeks I was away but the comet was easily picked up in Perseus; it asterism being distorted by a new "star" at about magnitude +2.4  The comet looked stellar and was still easily visible from the bright street lit town of Lidkoping!  Back home, I had to await a small break in the clouds to image the comet. See above. Through 7x50 binoculars, it looks like a slightly oval glowing ball. See below. It will be interest to see what happens with this comet over the coming weeks.

Images from James Martin. Click on image for detailed views.

First images of Holmes from the Isle of Man. Click on the images for a detailed view