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Showing posts with label Comet Holmes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comet Holmes. Show all posts

Nov 8, 2010

New Comet glides by Saturn; Sunspot 1121 update

Space Weather News for Nov 8, 2010

POSSIBLE COMET OUTBURST: A comet discovered just a few days ago by amateur astronomers in Japan is gliding by Saturn in the pre-dawn sky. Comet Ikeya-Murakami (C/2010 V1) is not visible to the unaided eye, but observers say it is a fairly easy target for backyard telescopes. Images obtained over the weekend reveal what appears to be an outburst in progress.

The comet's coma (atmosphere) bears a striking resemblance to the coma of Comet Holmes, which famously exploded in 2007. Check Space Weather News for photos and more information.

SOLAR ACTIVITY UPDATE: After unleashing one of the brightest X-ray flares in years on Saturday afternoon, Nov 6th, sunspot 1121 took Sunday off. No strong flares were recorded for the rest of the weekend. Nevertheless, the active region's magnetic field is complex and harbors energy for more eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate an 85% chance of M-flares during the next 24 hours.

SPACE WEATHER ALERTS: Would you like a call when solar storms hit Earth? Sign up for Space Weather Phone.

Nov 29, 2007

dry Venus and the Comet's tail grows back

Space Weather News for Nov. 29, 2007

SOLAR WIND DRIES VENUS: The European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft has made an important discovery: the solar wind dries out Venus.

Unlike Earth, Venus has no global magnetic field to deflect particles from the sun; when solar wind hits Venus it actually strips away some of Venus' upper atmosphere. Hydrogen and oxygen atoms fly into space, removing from Venus the chemical building blocks of water. This process makes an already hellish planet even worse.

Link to more information may be found below.

COMET 17P/HOLMES UPDATE: Now that the full Moon has left the evening sky, Comet Holmes is visible again. The comet is not as bright as it was when it first exploded in late October.

Most people now have trouble finding it with the naked eye. A quick sweep through Perseus with a pair of binoculars, however, will pinpoint the comet while the smallest of telescopes reveals it to be a truly impressive object.

Comet Holmes now occupies about 10 times the volume of the Sun and it is developing a hint of a blue-green tail. A similar tail was observed in early November, but it broke off during an apparent magnetic storm.

Now the tail is growing back.

Visit for sky maps and the latest images.

Nov 19, 2007

Comet Holmes 'swallows' Mirfak

Space Weather News for Nov. 19, 2007

Comet 17P/Holmes is swallowing a star! Not really, but it looks that way. Tonight, the exploding comet is passing directly in front of Mirfak, the brightest star of the constellation Perseus.

Astronomers liken the view through a backyard telescope to a giant space-faring jellyfish gobbling a phosphorescent treat. Although Comet Holmes is now fading to the limits of naked-eye visibility, the star-comet duo is still easy to find in the northern sky after sunset.

Visit for a sky map and photos.#

Here's some info on Mirfak and Perseus archetypes and myths.

Nov 15, 2007

Comet now bigger than the Sun

Space Weather News for Nov. 15, 2007

GIANT COMET: University of Hawaii astronomers have measured the diameter of Comet 17P/Holmes: 1.4 million kilometers. This makes the exploding comet bigger than the sun and now the largest object in the solar system. Not surprisingly, the comet is visible to the naked eye; with only a backyard telescope you can watch its gigantic debris cloud expand from night to night. Nov. 19th is an especially good night to look: Comet Holmes will glide by *Mirfak, the brightest star in the constellation Perseus, and appear to swallow it.

Visit for a sky map and images.

(Note: The sun remains by far the most massive object in the solar system. Comet 17P/Holmes' diaphanous atmosphere of dust and gas, which is what the astronomers measured, contains less mass than a typical asteroid. In spite of its great size, Comet Holmes is a lightweight that won't be deflecting the orbits of planets or causing any other such catastrophes.)

ROSETTA FLYBY: On Nov. 13th, the European Space Agency's comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft buzzed Earth, passing only 5300 km above the southern hemisphere. During the high-speed gravity assist maneuver, Rosetta snapped some fantastic pictures including close-up shots of Antarctic icescapes and glittering views of city lights at night.

See Rosetta's amazing photos at

*Mirfak (Alpha Perseus): young male energy; a young warrior proud of his strength.

Nov 9, 2007

shake your Comet Tail feathers

Space Weather News for Nov. 9, 2007

COMET TAIL: Exploding Comet 17P/Holmes continues to amaze onlookers. On Nov. 8th and 9th part of the comet's blue tail broke away in view of many backyard telescopes.

Visit to see photos of the "disconnection event" and speculation about what might have caused it.

TAURID METEOR SHOWER: The annual Northern Taurid meteor shower caused by Comet Encke peaks on Nov. 12th. Although Taurid rates are normally low, only about five meteors per hour, those five can be doozies. The shower is a well-known producer of slow, bright fireballs visible at all hours of the night. If you're outside after dark this weekend, be alert for Taurids.

Would you like to subscribe to Spaceweather Alerts? Click here.#

Original alert: Comet exploding in Perseus!

Oct 29, 2007

Exploding comet now larger than Jupiter

Space Weather News for Oct 29, 2007

Last week, Comet 17P/Holmes shocked sky watchers around the world with a sudden million-fold increase in brightness. It literally exploded into view, rapidly becoming a naked eye "star" in the constellation Perseus. Since then the comet has expanded dramatically. It is now physically larger than the planet Jupiter and subtends an angle in the night sky similar to the Moon's Sea of Tranquility, the right eye of the "Man in the Moon."

Photographers, this amazing comet is an excellent target for off-the-shelf digital cameras and backyard telescopes. It grows visibly from night to night and no one knows how large it will become. Stay tuned to for sky maps and the latest images.#

Previous Comet Alert with Perseus star lore added.

Oct 24, 2007

Comet erupts in Perseus!

Space Weather News for Oct. 24, 2007:

ERUPTING COMET: Astronomers in Japan and Europe report that Comet 17P/Holmes is undergoing a spectacular eruption. The 17th-magnitude comet has brightened by a factor of five hundred thousand or more during the past 24 hours becoming a naked eye object in the evening sky. This may signify a breakup of the comet's core or a rich vein of ice suddenly exposed to sunlight--no one knows.

Look for a yellow 2.5th-magnitude fuzzball in the constellation Perseus after sunset. ("2.5th magnitude" means a little dimmer than the stars of the Big Dipper.) At present the comet looks more like a star than a comet; it does not have a discernable tail, but it might grow one as the outburst continues.

Visit for a sky map, photos and updates.#

The constellation of Perseus the Prince is a member of the royal family and orbits around the North Pole. He was known by the Hebrews as Parash, a horseman, or sometimes as Ham, son of Noah. In Egypt he was called, Khem, the young black son of Cepheus the king.

The brightest star in Perseus is Mirfak (Algenib) and is associated with the young warrior who is proud of his strength, his hunting and fighting abilities, and of his trophy. People with Mirfak linked to planets in their natal charts are: Muhammed Ali, Martin Luther King, Jr, Margaret Thatcher, and Henry Ford.

So Mirfak represents young male energy that may not listen to the wisdom of others or take caution. There is a flavor of overestimating one's mental or physical abilities...guess you could say a flame-out may result as we're seeing with Comet Holmes! So Washington and the Pentagon--beware, because even you exalted types can't change the As Above, So Below nature of the world.

5:00 pm News from NPR:

State Department Security Chief Richard Griffin has resigned effective Nov 1--he oversaw entities like Blackwater. Seems the heat from the spotlight was too hot--flame-out!