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FW: Comet Holmes

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  • Diana K Rosenberg
    On Oct 30 I sent this to the Comet group - thought ... FW: Comet Holmes On Oct 30 I sent this to the Comet group - thought it might interest others:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2007
      FW: Comet Holmes

      On Oct 30 I sent this to the Comet group - thought
      it might interest others:
      From:   Diana K Rosenberg [mailto:fixed.stars@...]
      Sent:   Tuesday, October 30, 2007 2:53 PM
      To:     'thecomets@yahoogroups.com'; 'thefixedstars@yahoogroups.com'
      Subject:        Comet Holmes


      Comet Holmes Beckons Skygazers Worldwide
      Amateur astronomers the world over have been stunned and amazed by the weirdest new object to appear in the sky in memory. And it's one of the brightest, too it's easy to spot with your eyes alone if you know where to look.

      Less than a week ago periodic Comet Holmes (
      17P) brightened dramatically by nearly a million times virtually overnight. For no apparent reason, the comet erupted from a very dim magnitude 17 to about magnitude 2½. Within a day its starlike nucleus had expanded into a perfectly round, bright little disk visible in binoculars and telescopes. It looked like no comet ever seen.

      Its startling outburst, however, has a precedent. The comet was also in a major eruption 115 years ago, in November 1892, when English amateur Edwin Holmes was the first to spot it. It reached 4th or 5th magnitude, faded in the following weeks, and then underwent a second eruption 2½ months after the first. (Gary Kronk provides more details in his
      online history.)

      Now, it seems, Comet Holmes has outdone itself. I've detailed the comet's day-by-day evolution below; be sure to add your own impressions in the comments section at the end.

      You can also check out (and add to!) some
      great photos submitted by our worldwide network of readers.

      The Outburst. The first person to notice something happening this time, according to IAU Circular 8886 (issued October 24th by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams) was A. Henriquez Santana at Tenerife, Canary Islands, shortly after midnight on the morning of the 24th local time. The comet was then about 8th magnitude, but within minutes Ramon Naves and colleagues in Barcelona, Spain, caught it at magnitude 7.3.

      Internet discussion groups came alive with the news. "To my amazement, 17P had brightened to naked-eye visibility," exclaimed Bob King when he spotted Comet Holmes shortly before dawn in Duluth, Minnesota. "What a sight!" he posted to the
      Comets Mailing List. Alan Hale of Cloudcroft, New Mexico, concurred. To Hale (well-known codiscoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp) it appeared essentially starlike in a telescope until he switched to high power.

      Then things only got better. As Earth continued to turn, nightfall arrived in Japan. "It is visible with naked eyes in a large city!" posted Seiichi Yoshida, who observed the comet from beside Tsurumi River in Yokohama. By 17:15 Universal Time he was describing Comet Holmes as magnitude 2.8.

      Since then the comet has remained just as bright or even a little more so
      shining as the third-brightest "star" in Perseus while enlarging substantially. It's still a round, sharp-edged disk with a bright core in binoculars and telescopes.

      Comet expert Gary Kronk expects Comet Holmes to remain bright and continue to enlarge in the coming days, as it makes its way slowly westward across Perseus. Its position on October 25th (0h UT) was right ascension 3h 53m, declination +50.1° (equinox 2000), and by October 30th it will have moved only slightly, to 3h 48m, +50.4°. On November 19
      20 It will pass closely by Alpha Persei (by 1/3°). For skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere, Perseus is visible all night around this time of year. The comet will stay in Perseus all the way into next March.

      The Oct 30 position translates to 6 Gem 28, Lat 29N37 - general area of Perseus' right thigh
      In longitude it is lined up with the Hyades, the stars in the Bull's head:
      But when the Ram hath doubled Ten Degrees,
                              And joyn'd seven more, then rise the Hyades:
                              Whose Births delight in Tumults, hate soft Peace,
                              Seditions seek, and live averse to Ease...                     
                              They seek Contention, and when none appears
                              They heighten Jealousies, and nourish Fears...
                              Such Minds these give, such Tempers these bestow,
                              Curst Influence! rais'd too high, or bent too low.
                                                      - Manilius, Astronomica, trans. Thomas Creech 1697

      From the Workbook
      (1980 -- for the present, add 23 mins)

      Prima Hyadum Gamma Tauri  in Bull’s face        5GE32   - 5 44  15 35   4 19    3.63    K0 III

      "One-of-a-kind" individuals; able to "see with new eyes," usually make their own rules. Forced to choose either fame or infamy, good or evil, tolerance or intolerance; effect is extreme, intense and unrelenting. Inner toughness makes them stubborn, formidable to deal with when confronted head-on. Have the ability to tap into myth and/or create their own myth for others to follow, which makes those inclined to the arts (this is excellent placement for artists, musicians, writers) very original and often successful. Confident in worldly matters, frequently rise to positions of leadership (or inherit them).  In many ways like Royal Aldebaran. (see below). Blindness. Torrential rain, storms, floods, fog, shipwrecks, mass movements, invasions, riots, upheavals, murder

      intensely ambitious, focussed   leadership drive                ferocity, violence, extremism
      originality, inventiveness      aggressive, adventurous intense sexuality
      imagination, vision     intensely energetic     brooding, resentfulness, insanity
      artistic, musical, sense of drama       controversial, daring   delusions of grandeur
      strong intellect        stubborn                persecuted/persecuting, murderous

      Sorry about messed-up keyword alignments.


      from the Fixed Star Book (coming soon; interesting - just last night I was finishing the illustration of Perseus!

              Long    Lat     Dec     RA      M       Spec
      Epsilon Persei     Rescuer's left knee  5GE41   19 07   40 01   3 58    2.89    B0.5 V
      Prima Hyadum Gamma Tauri    muzzle      5GE48   - 5 44  15 38   4 20    3.63    K0 III
       Lunar Mansions:  China: part of Py, The Net (see Lambda Tauri, 03); India: Rohini: see Aldebaran, 93
      Nu Eridani  near beginning of River     6GE49   -25 07  - 3 21  4 36    3.93    B2 III
      Burnham's Nebula in Taurus  near left eye       6GE59   - 1 58  19 32   4 22    Diffuse Nebula

      Also here: Secunda Hyadum (Delta Tauri) and Pi Tauri (6GE52, 7GE17), both of the Hyades Cluster in the Bull’s muzzle, Seyfert  galaxy BW Tauri (7GE26) in the Bull's foreleg; HD23741 Persei (6GE04) in Rescuer’s right thigh; variable RZ Cassiopeiae (6GE19) under the Queen’s feet; 58 Eridani (7GE32) beneath the River’s source; dim stars of Cepheus, and Zeta Pictoris (7GE10) in the modern constellation of the Painter’s Easel. Perihelion of Halley's Comet 1456: Gutenberg Bible, 1st printed music; Turks conquered Athens, attempted invasion of Europe, defeated at Belgrade (the Chinese related the Hyades to invasions); England: War of the Roses. The next cnj of Neptune and Pluto, in May, 2385, will be here. This set runs from 5GE37 to 7GE44. The Sun transits these longitudes approximately May 26th to May 28th

      Blindness, eye problems, (this set of stars has the highest blindness score of all!), leg ailments or injuries (Perseus’ legs are here), insanity, persecutions. This is one of the areas Ptolemy mentioned as exhibiting “utter depravity” in sexual matters. The key word here is "overwhelming": Torrential rain ("hyades" means "rainers"), storms, floods, fog, air and ship wrecks, mass movements (i.e. floods of people), invasions (in ancient China the Pleiades/Hyades area was "The Announcer of the Invasion at the Border"), exile, fires, uprisings, demonstrations, riots, epidemics (including smallpox), mass events, upheavals, murder; disasters caused by poor visibility. Technological developments in communications: preservation and dissemination of information, but these stars are not usually conducive to negotiations.

       - invasion and rescue events

      The Chinese, who associated the Hyades with hunting, military training and danger of barbarian attacks, called the cluster "The Announcer of the Invasion at the Border:" represented here are warlord and Pres of Yugoslavia Josip Tito, N Vietnam leader Ho Chih Minh, US Civil War naval hero Adm Farragut, 17th-18th-century military commander John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, Adm J R Jellicoe, US Gen’l John Pershing, Gen’l and Premier of France Charles de Gaulle, “restless, quarrelsome” soldier-statesman-empire-builder Robert Clive (opium addict, suicide at 49), Pres of China Chiang Kai-Chek, 1st Pres of Israel David Ben-Gurion, nonconformist, fiercely independent WWII RAF fighter ace Douglas Bader (lower legs amputated after crash, insisted on going on flying; later became spokesman for disabled), war hero Rick Rescorla, who epitomized Perseus’ “rescuer” impulse when he gave his life to save others in the Sept 11, 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

      As for invasions, the day Nebuchadrezzar conquered Jerusalem in 597 BC and began exiling most of the population to Babylon, this was the Moon at Noon (it was also the Noon Moon the day 2,563 years later, during the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israelis captured and re-unified Jerusalem!); this was Venus and Mars (respectively) at the Spring Lunar and Solar Eclipses of 55 BC when Julius Caesar reconnoitered the shores of England, planning to invade; Neptune at a 78 CE LunEcl the year Roman troops invaded the Isle of Mona (Anglesey), Wales to exterminate Druids and destroy their sacred groves (Neptune was here again 6 cycles later at the Battle of Hastings, the Norman invasion of England in 1066. and in 1890 at the massacre of Sioux Indians by US Cavalry at Wounded Knee, SD (at a SolEcl 2 years earlier whose path of totality ran over the Dakotas, Pluto had been here); the NNode was here when Cortez invaded Mexico in 1519 (within 2¼ years Aztec civilization was conquered and destroyed), Uranus at the 1524 Jupiter-Saturn cnj the year Spain invaded France, Uranus again in 1607 when the 1st successful English colony was established in America, at Jamestown, VA (an invasion of Indian territory), and Uranus 2 cycles later in June, 1775 when the Continental Congress, fearing a British invasion, voted to form the US Army; when it returned to this position in November, they founded the US Navy (this was the NNode in 1798 when the US Marine Corps was established as a separate service); Mercury was here at the start of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812, Pluto when an invasion of another sort took place in 1889: by presidential proclamation, lands illegally confiscated from Indians were opened to homesteaders: a bugle blew signalling the start of the “Oklahoma Land Rush” – 100,000 hard-riding settlers claimed 1,920,000 acres in a single day; the SNode at the Dec, 1937 start of the “Rape of Nanjing” when invading Japanese troops raped, tortured and horribly murdered soldiers and citizens, including children; a Venus-Mars cnj here marked Germany's 1940 invasion of Denmark; this was Jupiter when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the MC at Algiers (and the Saturn-Uranus midpoint bracketing it) at the start of the November 1942 “Operation Torch” – the Allied invasion of N Africa in WWII (it is noteworthy that the invaders were bogged down in heavy rains - the rainy Hyades!) Uranus was here the day Gen’l Dwight D Eisenhower was given command of the planned Allied  invasion of Europe in 1944.

      Perseus’ predilection for adventure and rescue shows itself in astronauts Sally Ride, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Wally Schirra, explorer-adventurers Sir Ranulph Twistleton-Wykeham-Fiennes and Adm Byrd, and 19th-century soldier-explorer-governor William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition into the vast unknown western interior of the US. This was the Sun at the start of one of history’s greatest rescues: the desperate, heroic WWII 1940 evacuation of  338,226 trapped British and French soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, under heavy fire, by a hastily-organized fleet of naval vessels, small boats, ferries, fishing craft, and private yachts, across the Channel to England, and the Moon at the 2nd  Battle of Vienna in 1683 – the 2nd attempt by Mohammedans in 154 years to invade Europe - when King John III Sobieski and Charles V of Lorraine came to the rescue of the besieged city.

      Love, Diana

      PS: Almost forgot - they mentioned that in Nov it will be near Alpha Persei - that's Marfak (Marfik) in the Rescuer's right side- 2 Gem 12 now:

      ...because Perseus’ Alpha star is here, rescue is a strong theme (if disasters occur as planets contact Algol and the Pleiades, their next few degrees of transit will take them under "The Rescuer," describing efforts to save lives and help survivors, and Eric Morse has noted that bereavement counselors have placements here); the more energetic among them will roll up their sleeves and aggressively try to rescue and reform everything and everybody (including themselves!) according to their idealistic vision of “the way things ought to be.” There are issues of war or peace, whether to fight, or to communicate, parley, compromise and attempt to create harmony. Here heroic savior Perseus modifies the Bull's stubbornness and aggression, while discerning King Cepheus offers culture and sophistication. Eye problems, blindness, polio, intense sexuality, sexual anomalies  Aviation, air, train and shipwrecks (Marfak was in China's Celestial Ship), communications and travel events; assassinations, disasters (and rescues); weeping, tears, rain, exile, imprisonment

      {{Mark - is it OK with you if I send this to other lists?)

      Website: http://ye-stars.com

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