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Holmes (17P)



           The Holmes comet was discovered by Edwing Holmes the 7 of November of 1892 in London (United Kingdom) closely together of the galaxy of Andromeda, M31 due also to a partial explosion of its nucleo that reached magnitude 5.

        The perihelion of the comet, or point next to the Sun in its orbit is to about 2 U.A. (astronomical Units), has an eccentricity of 0.43 and it is a comet of the family of the Jupiter planet, that is to say, his it orbits is within the orbit of Jupiter; its orbital period is of 6.88 years and its nucleus has a diameter of 3.42 km All it you can see it in the inferior graph.



         Orbit of the Holmes comet between the planets Mars and Jupiter. The color cyan of their orbit indicates that the ecliptic or orbital plane of our blue Solar System is over and the intense one that it orbits below the orbital plane.



Localitation Holmes comet

Sky & telescope


        In his appearance in year 2007 comet has reached magnitude of 2 observable 23 of October, phenomenon which I could photograph with the digital camera, whose images you can see down in the Web During the 24 the comet experienced an internal explosion of gas and dust that made increase him of brightness until at first making the visible comet during several days, did more than 125 years that a phenomenon did not take place thus. In the taken images the 26 appear the comet as a blurred star because the gas and the dust expelled from the nucleus of the comet continue orbiting his around and not yet has formed the tail of the comet that assumes will be spectacular.

        This happened in less than 24 hours, so that the hypotheses that are handled are of a breaking of the nucleus or a collision with some object no detected still. The explosion, or "outburst" in English terminology, was discovered by the become fond of astronomer Spanish Juan Antonio Henríquez Santana, member of the Astronomical Grouping of the island of the Palma.

            The origin of this sudden increase of the brightness cannot, so far, be known. As hypotheses postulate an explosion of some gas stock market under the frozen surface of the comet, or a landslide of the structure of the nucleus when being great part of this one hollow. The comets little have a compacted nucleus formed by dust, gas and different types from ice. Another explanations much less probable can be a possible shock with some body that has removed to the material surface from the interior of the comet or perhaps a possible fragmentation of the nucleus.




         Route of the Holmes comet during the months previous and later to its maximum reached brightness

Sky & telescope


       Holmes comet I located on October 26th, 2007at 20h.20m. (T.U) from the locality of Inca, Majorca, Spain; in the constellation of Perseus, closely together of a Persei and in one moon-lit night full, which made difficult its observation. As you can observe the image is spectacular if we counted on the fact to observe it under the Full Moon light. The observation was made to less than 48 hours later to the partial explosion of its nucleus and its spectacular increase of brightness of the Holmes comet.





        In this it magnifies image which I did in my house you can observe with certain difficulty Auriga (Capella), the Holmes comet, to Persei and until the Pleiads, everything under the light of the city and a magnificent Full Moon.


           It corresponds to the first image taken with the digital camera of the comet. In her you can observe On guard triangular the Holmes comet with the star Persei Alpha of magnitude the 1.79 and star Persei Delta of magnitude 3,01. Observing the comparative the one of magnitude with these two stars alfa:5:Holmes:2:delta is 2:5 that is to say.

Credit & Copyright: Miguel A. Serra


                With binoculars the image of the comet was practically spectacular, with the nucleus very shining and if tail of the comet when included being in the nucleus of the comet.  However, the image of down is taken on November 1st, 2007 and we can observe that the comet is debilitated little by little of brightness and appears weaker than d Persei.



            This image corresponds to the image taken from November 1st, 2007 at 19h.46m. (T.U); in her already the Holmes comet is observed brightness weaker than d Persei.

Credit & Copyright: Miguel A. Serra


            In this second image turns out spectacular to see the comet with its extended coma more but without tail expanding due to the explosion that underwent the nucleus the 24 of October of 2007; although also, he is observable that is weaker than the previous days and that its brightness is already inferior to the star Persei delta of magnitude 3,01.




          This image the one of the left is taken on November 3rd, 2007, and an important commentary comma but without tail is already observed, at the moment. It is continued debilitating and it been weaker than d Persei. The photo of the right is made the same day with the zoom lens of the camera to try to remove more to the comet.

Credit & Copyright: Miguel A. Serra


Masm © Last update 2008-06-15