Things that go boom in the sky

Here’s something you don’t see every day; an exploding comet.  In fact the last time this comet did this was in 1892.

Comet 17P/Holmes is now larger than Jupiter. Astronomer Eric Allen of Quebec’s Observatoire du Cégep de Trois-Rivières combined images he captured on three consecutive nights (Oct. 25, 26 and 27) and placed them beside a picture of Jupiter scaled to the same distance as the comet, as shown above. More at

The comet is visible to the naked eye, and looks even better through a telescope. This would be a good excuse to go visit the Chico Community Observatory in upper Bidwell Park Sunday night and have them swing the telescope by for a look. Or if you want to spot it yourself, here is a sky map.

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October 28, 2007 6:04 pm

Gorse Fox thinks you’ll find that the explosing comment was caused by global warming ;¬)

Stu Miller
October 30, 2007 8:09 pm

After several cloudy nights, I was finally able to see the comet tonight. I showed it to my wife and was speculating about what caused it to explode when she looked at me pityingly and said “No, dummy. Global Warming caused it to explode!” Anyway, thanks for the alert.

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