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Re: Major outburst of 17P/Holmes

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  • cnj999
    As Gary has already pointed out, the parallels between the current outburst of P/Holmes and the 1892 event are quite extraordinary. I would note that in 1892
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 24, 2007
      As Gary has already pointed out, the parallels between the current
      outburst of P/Holmes and the 1892 event are quite extraordinary. I
      would note that in 1892 E.E.Barnard indicated a maximum observed
      brightness of around +4 for the comet within a few days of Holmes
      discovery (although Holmes undoubtedly discovered the comet several
      days after the onset of the outburst). Following the initial stages of
      the outburst, the comet's total magnitude faded only very slowly and it
      remained visible to the unaided eye for about 3 weeks. During this
      interval the coma expanded dramatically (as might be expected),
      reaching 20'-30' in size before its outer regions began to drop below
      the sky background. One can anticipate that the same general evolution
      will occur this time.

      I would also call observers' attention to the fact that P/Holmes
      underwent a second outburst (something that has been observed in
      conjunction with several other outbursting comets), of almost equal
      amplitude to the first one, about 75 days following its 1892 November
      brightening. Thus, I would urge everyone to watch very carefully for a
      possible repeat of this secondary event about the turn of the year.

      JBortle
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