Skywatchers can see debris from spectacular comet outburst this month


In October 2007, the otherwise underwhelming comet known as 17P/Holmes produced the most spectacular cometary outburst ever observed. Debris from this event will be visible this month to amateur telescopes in the Northern Hemisphere. Here is when and how to look for it. 

Finnish astronomer Markku Nissinen remembers the days almost 15 years ago when skywatchers first noticed the intense brightening of the 2.1-mile-wide (3.4 kilometers) comet. Within days, the envelope of dust and gas surrounding the icy object, known as 17P/Holmes, was as wide as the sun, the comet’s brightness having increased a million times. 

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Originally published at www.space.com

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