October 29th, 2007 by webmaster
To those unacustomed to the wonders of astronomy, it is a little speck of light. But this comet is really remarkable, and has the amateur astronopmy community abuzz. The puff of gas and dust is spreading out rapidly, so the appearance is changing nightly, if not hourly. Some have reported rapid fluctuations in the light from the nucleus, and imagers have captured a green halo of CO gas along with internal structure in the bright central core. It is significantly larger now, and though still bright, it is losing surface brightness, and the central bright region is considerably less yellow to the eye.
Last night Holmes passed in front of a background star, so it temporarily looked as though it had a double nucleus. To me it looked like a negative image of a cell - normally you would have a dark nucleus with even darker nucleoli - here it is a bright
nucleus with brighter points!
(click for full size image)
Posted in Astronomy |