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10/25/2007

A Strange Comet Lights Up The Evening Sky


BREAKING ASTRONOMY NEWS
COMET ALERT

ASTRONOMERS ARE BEWILDERED OVER A STRANGE COMET NOW APPEARING IN THE EVENING SKY

Astronomers around the world agree, Comet 17P/Holmes is one of the strangest things ever to explode in the night sky. It's a comet, yet it looks like a planet with a golden core and a green atmosphere:

Comet 17P/Holmes as Shown Below: Photo Gallery

Chris Shur of Payson, Arizona, took this picture last night using his 12.5-inch telescope and a Canon XTi digital camera. "The comet was yellow and green, very bright in the viewfinder," he says.

Yesterday, Comet Holmes shocked sky watchers with a spectacular eruption, brightening almost a million-fold from 17th to 2.5th magnitude in a matter of hours. The comet is now visible to the naked eye--even from light polluted cities--high in the northern sky after sunset: finder chart.

The golden hue of Holmes' core is probably the color of sunlight scattered by comet dust, while the green fringe likely signifies an atmosphere rich in diatomic carbon and cyanogen (substances found in many green comets). There are reports that the fuzzball is expanding and taking on a lopsided shape--the first signs of a tail? Amateur astronomers are encouraged to monitor developments

Stay tuned to The Great Red Comet for further updates on this story
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