Friday, November 16, 2007

Don't forget to look up, occasionally

Composite color image of Comet Holmes (November 1, 2007) showing the concentric shells of dust surrounding the main body. A faint tail can be seen emanating at the bottom right. Image credit A. Dyer via ESA and NASA

The normally sedate Comet Holmes made a bright splash in the sky about two weeks ago, unexpectedly becoming a million times brighter than normal overnight and causing a stir among astronomers.

The comet and its expanding ball of dust have become the biggest object in the solar system, with a diameter appearing even bigger than the sun.
For the next few months, the comet will be in the constellation Perseus, near Cassiopeia. Check out these star maps if you're curious.

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