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Giant Comet
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Posted: 16th November 2007


Photo: Ron Young


Have you seen Comet Holmes yet? Astronomers in Hawaii recently measured the size of the comet. It's 1.4 million kilometers in diameter. This makes the exploding comet bigger than the sun and now the largest object in the solar system. Not surprisingly, it's visible with the naked eye.

Colin Ebdon kindly wrote in to explain how to find Comet Holmes in the night sky. It's located in the constellation Perseus, which is a bright grouping of stars just below the 'W' shape of the constellation Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia is on its side as it rises high in the North East around 11pm and then passes almost overhead. Sweeping downwards to the stars below Cassiopeia, the comet is easily seen.


Image: G. Bradley

 It doesn't yet have the typical comet tail. It's more like a fuzzy round blob with a brighter centre.



Image: G. Bradley


Bright comets don't appear very often, so if the sky is clear tonight, get out and take a look. The comet was discovered in the 1890s by E. Holmes of London - hence the name.


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