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Comet 17P/Holmes

A new “star” has appeared in the night sky. Well, sort of. A few days ago, a relatively insignificant comet called Comet 17P/ Holmes suddenly erupted, creating the above eerie looking object in the sky, just beside the northern constellation of Perseus.

I saw the object through my small telescope a few nights ago, and it was truly unmissable. This comet “haz flavur” as they say ’round here.

To find it, try to locate the big irregular “W” in the northern sky (the constellation Cassiopeia). Then, try to find a very bright star relatively close-by (Capella). The object is about half-way between these two positions. You should be able to pick it up easily with a pair of binoculars, although, according to NASA, no equipment at all is needed: it’s clearly visible with the naked eye.

Apparently one of the brightest comets in 30 years is in the sky at the moment! You can see it just after sunset, so if the evening sky is clear, make your excuses and see if you can find it. It’s close to the sun, so look to the west. No binoculars or telescopes needed.

It’s beginning to cloud over here in preparation for yet another Atlantic storm, so I’m not sure if I’ll catch it myself. If you see it, let me know.

Here’s how to find it.

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