Halloween Weirdness in Space – The Great Pumpkin

I mentioned this a couple of posts back, exploding Comet 17P/Holmes is one of the strangest things in the sky ever but it gets stranger…Last night, astrophotographer Alan Friedman of Buffalo, NY, took a close-up picture of the comet’s core. “A strong deconvolution filter followed by multiple passes of unsharp mask and gaussian blur reveals startling new structure in comet 17P/Holmes.” i.e. after processing the image with Photoshop Here’ what popped out:

Linus would be impressed. The structure is due to outgassing from fissures and crevices in the comet’s core, but it is just a little too coincidentally spooky. Of course we’ve always seen things in the sky that mirror our minds, from constellations to UFO’s,  so why not Halloweeen?

Would you like to see the comet masquerading as the great pumpkin?? Look north after sunset for an expanding fuzzball in the constellation Perseus: sky map. Comet Holmes is about as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper, easy to see with the unaided eye and for backyard telescopes. The Chico Observatory in upper Bidwell Park will also be looking at this object.

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4 thoughts on “Halloween Weirdness in Space – The Great Pumpkin

  1. Anthony: Typo:
    “but it is just a little to coincidentally spooky.”
    Should read: —a little too coinc—etc.
    Did I miss a few months? Is it April 1 already?

  2. Don’t show that to the guys who think there’s a face on Mars – you might get them frothing at the mouth again…

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