Comet hunt …. Success tonight.

After what feels like an eternity of cloudy weather I got to see comet Holmes.

A bit of clear sky appeared , and the comet was just visible to the unaided eye here (the sky is heavily light polluted where I live).

Without any optical instruments it looks like a star to me – maybe it would be fuzzy in a darker sky.

Using a pair of binoculars at 15x magnification the comet is much like the pictures as seen here , with the exception of the faint green haze outside the brighter disk.

It looked bigger than I expected, and I noticed thet in order to get the most from the view, I had to use “averted vision” that is focusing the view a bit away from the comet. The brighter core is a little elliptic looking and a little offset from the centre of the disk.

If you have a pair of binoculars, you should go out and take a look. The Sky and Telescope link above gives you what you need to find the comet.

This is the third comet I have seen, only Hale-Bopp in April 1997 was bright enough to be clearly seen in the heavily light polluted skies of the western Netherlands, but this unexpected view is much better with a pair of binoculars , or better a telescope using a not too high magnification 20 – 50x should be fine.

Good luck comet hunting.

2 thoughts on “Comet hunt …. Success tonight.

  1. Glad your hunt was finally successful.

    I can feel your pain, I’ve been trying to spot the ISS for a few weeks now, cloudy every time.

  2. I see …

    ISS, though, will appear again and again, Comet Holmes is a really rare thing.

    Have not seen ISS either these days, since most passes are in daylight.

    Good luck Gary

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