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Comet 17P/Holmes October 29 - 30

Started by Herbert Kraus, 10/29/2007 11:51PM
Posted 10/29/2007 11:51PM Opening Post
After viewing Comet 17P/Holmes at around 8:55 pm PDT on October 29 (03:55 UT October 30), I am posting this report because the seeing on this evening was exceptionally good (my tests for seeing quality are to determine whether I can split the Lyra double doubles without a high degree of magnification; and whether the brilliant redness of T Lyrae is evident in my eyepiece). I have seen the comet twice before in the last few days, but never this clearly.
The comet appeared as a roughly circular apparition about 7 arcminutes in diameter, although the westerly edge of the circle was sharper and somewhat rounder than the fuzzier eastern edge. The noticeably brighter inner portion of this "disc" was about 2 to 3 arcminutes in diameter, and contained a star-like core or kernel near its northwestern edge, whose visual magnitude I guessed at about 8. Several stars also appeared in my field of view. I judged the brightest one to be of about 7th magnitude some 15 arcminutes west of the comet's edge. I thought this might be 43 Persei, but subsequent research indicates that that is a 5.5 magnitude star located somewhat to the east of where the comet was at this time; it might have been SAO 024223, a 7.9 magnitude star located 15 arcminutes from the comet's position this evening.

NexStar 8i SCT, Orion 80ED APO refractor, Orion 120 mm EQ refractor, 3.5-inch Questar