Comet 17P/Holmes

Well, well, well. Whoever saw anything quite like this peculiar comet outburst of October 2007? Not very many people, I'll wager.

Zooming up from a lowly 17th magnitude to magnitude 2 or 3 in a matter of hours, this comet appeared starlike to the naked eye, while with a telescope it looked like a spherical force field surrounding an offset phosphorescent gem which emitted a spray of white light. It also had a more diffuse background glow which was pretty hard to see, at least with the sky flooded with moonlight. It was unlike anything else I've seen in the sky.

The sky continues to produce surprising sights. What will be next?

These drawings were produced in Photoshop on the nights of the observations. They are intended to indicate my visual impression of the comet.

Copyright ©2007 by Joe Bergeron