December 1, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Comet Holmes fizzles out

I checked a couple times during the week, and found that Comet Holmes has been dissipating so much that it is no longer visible at all to the naked eye. With binoculars, it looks like a vague, hazy cloud in the middle of the constellation Perseus, but you would probably never notice it if you weren't looking for it. According to, "the comparatively tiny Comet Holmes has released so much gas and dust that its extended atmosphere, or coma, is larger than the diameter of the sun". Well, it was fun while it lasted. Jacqueline and I saw Comet Hale Bopp once or twice in 1997, and it had a tail that was clearly visible to the naked eye. Some photos can be seen at ASSOCIAZIONE ASTRONOMICA CORTINA.