Thursday, November 01, 2007

Comet Holmes from OAN-SPM

Comet Holmes is an old folk for astronomers, discovered in 1892 and with a period of 5.9 years, it was discovered in an outburst during which the comet brigthened to a magnitude around 4-5.

A similar outburst happened last october, from magnitude 17 to 2.5! It is still visible at the dusk (or dawn) if you look at Perseus, maybe some binoculars will be necesary. I won't delve further into it because there are many posts about it in the blogosphere (1)(2)(3), rather I'll show you a nice pic of this comet.

Use this sky chart to look for Comet Holmes, it depicts the sky at a latitude adequate for most of North America and Europe.

Alan Watson, an astronomer at Centro de Radiastronomía y Astrofísica, UNAM was at OAN-SPM (National Astronomical Observatory at San Pedro Martir), and used the 1.5 meter telescope to take this nice picture of comet Holmes in the R band (meaning light was filtered to only allow "red" light arrive the detectors).

The exposition time was 10 seconds. Look at the displacement between the core and the coma.

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