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Remember Comet Holmes?

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#1 Special Ed  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:21 PM

Hi.

Here is a blast from the past. I put together this animation of C17P/Holmes during its rapid expansion. Something to remember while we wait for PANSTARRS to get here. :grin:

#2 Tonk

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:40 PM

Can I join in :) - I haven't got your drawing skills though so heres a panorama!

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#3 Tonk

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

Wonder if we will ever see a comet do this "going bang" act ever again??

#4 BrooksObs

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:20 PM

The odds are vanishingly small for that, Tonk. The outburst P/Holmes underwent was a whole order of magnitude larger than the next largest outburst ever reported. What we saw has to be considered an utterly unique event.

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#5 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:20 AM

Beautiful sketches and images. I remember doing my share of sketching and observing of comet Holmes. What was fun was watching its gradual expansion. Thanks for the memories.

Rich (RLTYS)

#6 BrooksObs

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:42 AM

Of the many hundreds of comets that I've followed over the decades what made P/Holmes utterly unique for me was to witness the constant faint scintillation within the coma visible with my 16" scope during the first night or two following the outburst's onset. It was as if the coma contained a fist full of "glitter" that could be seen to sparkle constantly at just above the threshold of detection. I've seen comets exhibit a lot of bizarre phenomenon, but never anything like that!

BrooksObs

#7 azure1961p

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:30 AM

That sounds like a compelling visual Brooks. Sorry I missed Holmes. I was in the midst of a move . and astronomy was totally off my radar.
I'm sorry I missed this one.

Pete

#8 Special Ed  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:42 AM

Thanks, folks.

A great set of images, Tony, that put the expansion in the kind of widefield context it deserves. If I had known that the comet would overwhelm my field of view I might have picked a lower power wider field ep to begin with. :lol:

BrooksObs, thanks for the benefit of your experienced point of view. I guess we were fortunate to be in the right place/time to witness the outburst. This wasn't a comet that one forgets, yes?

#9 ROBERT FREE

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:04 AM

i missed holmes myself,but i can vividly remember when i was a young boy in nj not far from nyc comet arend-roland,in spring of 1957,it was brighter than sirius or jupiter an had a real long tail moving across the sky id say over 75 deg an as it moved it like made little jumps an i was hooked on astronomy. i saw it for weeks right overhead it was amazing.i was stunned.

#10 SteelStar

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:52 PM

Here are my observations of 17/P Holmes from 10/24/07 to 10/28/07.

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#11 SteelStar

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

10/29/07 to 11/03/07

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#12 SteelStar

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:57 PM

11/04/07 to 11/08/07

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#13 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

I certainly do.

Comet 17P/Holmes
80mm achromatic refractor
Canon EOS Digital Rebel DSLR
November 3, 2007

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#14 azure1961p

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:18 PM

Every image in this thread truly serves to compliment the other. Worked out well Mike!

Pete

#15 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:15 AM

Your right, absolutely beautiful sketches and images. :bow: I remember when my wife first saw Holmes she refered to it as the fried egg comet.

Rich (RLTYS)

#16 Special Ed  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:52 AM

I agree--I'm really enjoying these sketches and images.

SteelStar, that's an impressive series of drawings (and an equally impressive strech of clear weather ;)).

Rich, as the comet's shape evolved, some people said it looked like a trilobite (see Tonk's second image from the right).

#17 Tonk

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:11 AM

it looked like a trilobite


I had it down as a colourful tropical fish

If you look at the 3rd image in the pano - can you see the disconnected ion tail?

That was a treat to watch it slowly disconnect over a few days. We are sort of looking down its whole length so we see only a foreshortened cross sectional view

#18 Dave M

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:23 AM

Holmes was certainly one cool comet, i agree that it looked like a trilobite.
Here`s a image i took on 11/13/07

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#19 BrooksObs

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:35 AM

It is interesting to note that although many other periodic comets have undergone sudden major brightenings, or outbursts over the years, in every case but the 2007 outburst of P/Holmes evidence of the event fades way after just a few weeks, at most. Even on the occasion of P/Holmes double outburst in 1892 the expanding clouds of debris dissipated within weeks. This brings one to wonder just what transpired to make the 2007 event unique.

I've read at least one explanation that an entire huge section of the comet's surface crust lifted off virtually as a unit and subsequently disintergrated in a progressive fashion, in a sense maintaining, or re-enforcing, the outburst for a longer time.

Nevertheless, the very fact that the largest cometary brightness outbursts in history (in 2007 the comet's brightness increased by a factor of 500,000x, while that of 1892 amounted to about 100,000x), should involve the same object and that their amplitudes should be so much greater than those of any others on record, suggests something rather unique about this particular comet and its apparent repetative behavior. If ever there was a target for a spacecraft flyby, I'd say P/Holmes is it.

BrooksObs

#20 Tonk

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

If ever there was a target for a spacecraft flyby, I'd say P/Holmes is it.


+1 - I'd chip a few quid in :)

#21 Dave M

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

+2 on that..
Next perihelion date for P17/Holmes is 2014 March 27, i wonder what the odds are that another outburst could happen.
I know its a crystal ball question but it makes me wonder.
Looking at Seiichi Yoshida`s comet page
http://www.aerith.ne...0017P/2014.html
it looks like Holmes was predicted to reach aproximately mag 15 when the outburst in 2007 occurred, it looks like the 2014 return mag estimate is about the same.

#22 Tonk

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

like Holmes was predicted to reach aproximately mag 15 when the outburst in 2007 occurred, it looks like the 2014 return mag estimate is about the same


Yeah its intrinsically dim - Edwin Holmes discovered it in outburst simply by deciding to have a look at M31 - got a big supprise!

#23 Steve OK

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

A fun thread! Here are a couple of images I got from the outburst...

Steve

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#24 Special Ed  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:57 PM

it looked like a trilobite


I had it down as a colourful tropical fish

If you look at the 3rd image in the pano - can you see the disconnected ion tail?

That was a treat to watch it slowly disconnect over a few days. We are sort of looking down its whole length so we see only a foreshortened cross sectional view


Tony--I wondered what that blue nebulosity was in your panorama--I had completely forgotten about the ion tail disconnect.

@ Dave and Steve--nice images. :) Back in 2007, Holmes's return in 2014 seemed sooo far in the future. Thanks for the reminder.

Count me in on helping fund a spacecraft flyby of Comet Holmes--I hope the majority of taxpaying voters agree with us.

#25 ericj

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:44 PM

Michael,

Nice animation of C17P/Holmes, almost feels like watching it as it moves through space. Was the software easy to work with?

Best,

Eric Jamison






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