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New Naked Eye Comet - 17/P Holmes

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16 years 8 months ago #53435 by michaeloconnell
Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: New Naked Eye Comet - 17/P Holmes
Paul's image just above taken earlier this evening shows two relatively bright stars on the edge of the halo. As the evening progressed, the comet could be seen moving directly across these stars, the fainter one of which went directly behind the nucleus and has popped out the far side now. The nucleus and these two stars make a nice little equilaterial triangle as I speak, but this triangle will get increasing more isosceles as the night progresses due to the movement of the comet.
Sorry to break the bad news John.

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16 years 8 months ago #53438 by JohnMurphy
Replied by JohnMurphy on topic Re: New Naked Eye Comet - 17/P Holmes
We have two equally sized chunks and a background star in our images, will post an unprocessed image shortly. Just uncoupling cameras now. I have also confirmed this with some shots from my DSLR also, though it's not as clear as Daves. Give us a mo'.

Clear Skies,
John Murphy
Irish Astronomical Society
Check out My Photos

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16 years 8 months ago #53439 by JohnMurphy
Replied by JohnMurphy on topic Re: New Naked Eye Comet - 17/P Holmes
OK here you go see what you think. This is just a single frame unprocessed.



If you've tracked these stars earlier then Bug££r me. We've been getting all worked up for nothing.

Clear Skies,
John Murphy
Irish Astronomical Society
Check out My Photos

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16 years 8 months ago #53440 by michaeloconnell
Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: New Naked Eye Comet - 17/P Holmes
John,

IMHO, those two extra points of light near the nucleus are background stars. I believe they are the same two stars you see in the 7'o'clock position of Paul Evans' previous image on the edge of the halo. Starry Night Pro also indicates two stars near the comet centre this evening, of mag 10.8 and 9.2. I was following the comet all evening long with the 16" and could see the comet get closer and closer to these two stars. The nucleus nearly ran directly across the fainter one.
Of course, I would much prefer if they really were cometary fragments - that would be really cool. :)

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16 years 8 months ago #53441 by JohnMurphy
Replied by JohnMurphy on topic Re: New Naked Eye Comet - 17/P Holmes
Michael,

I think you're right. Looking back on some previous images here you can see the relevant movement. We've been getting excited about nowt.
Would have been nice though and would have explained a lot about the sudden brightening of this rogue.

Clear Skies,
John Murphy
Irish Astronomical Society
Check out My Photos

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16 years 8 months ago #53443 by michaeloconnell
Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: New Naked Eye Comet - 17/P Holmes
To be fair to you John, it is a remarkable coincidence that the comet has crossed two relatively bright stars. Considering the fact that it has just outburst and with cloud cover preventing you from seeing the motion of the comet from earlier in the evening, I can perfectly understand why you would have got excited.

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