Can You Spot Comet Holmes?

Chris Lintott is reporting on his blog on Comet Holmes, which ought to be a magnitude 17 object but recently clocked in at mag 10 and then mag 3, making it a naked-eye visible comet (even from Cardiff if you’re lucky).

So can you see it? Why not have a go? Go and find Perseus (map below from BBC’s Night Sky pages) and see if you can spot a medium brightness star that shouldn’t be there (detailed map from Wikipedia). If you can, aim your telescope or binoculars at it and see if you spot something fuzzy.

Apparently the comet has a notorious reputation for being unpredictable. In fact a New York Times article from February 1893 tells how the comet changed in the space of a day from being a star-like point to a faint nebulous mass.

Back in the present there are already shots of it on Flickr:

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