More Comet Holmes 17/P

Mark Wagner

Just came in from observing the comet in a 10" f/5;7 with a 7mm Nagler. The nucleus is very bright, nothing competes with it in the field of view. Somewhat yellow/cream colored. The inner coma fans out to the WSE, tight. The outer halo is slightly elongated NW to SE, approx, from memory. Very unusual comet! I agree with the size, estimated at 1.5' to 2.0'. If I didn't know what it was, I'd guess this was a very bright planetary nebula with an off-center central star.

I had to laugh, after doing a bit of fixing of my finder base today on the scope, I had to use the nearly full moon to align. But it works fine now. But once the fix was done, the finder aligned correctly and kept the comet centered. Smart move preparing for tonight! Simple fix, a screw head was too "tall" and throwing everything off.

I haven't seen a comet's coma like this since Hale-Bopp. I suggest we all watch this guy closely over the next week. Hale-Bopp, back in '93 or so, when the coma was incredibly distinct, was throwing off all kinds of ejecta spinakers - you could watch them spiraling off the nucleus real-time. Wouldn't that be a treat!


Observing Reports Observing Sites GSSP 2010, July 10 - 14
Frosty Acres Ranch
Adin, CA

OMG! Its full of stars.
Golden State Star Party
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