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    Exotic Comet (no navigation)
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2007 Oct 28, 19:43 -0400

    In case there are any list members who haven't heard about it...
    
    Last week a small, insignificant object, Comet Holmes, orbiting between Mars
    and Jupiter brightened from magnitude 17.5 to magnitude 2.5. That's 15
    magnitudes. And since every 5 steps of magnitude represents a factor of 100
    in brightness, that means that this little comet is a million times brighter
    this week than last week. That's a rather unusual brightening! There's lots
    of coverage and observational reports on skyandtelescope.com. This comet is
    very easy to observe and now that the 'explosion' is several days old, the
    cloud around the comet's nucleus is approaching ten minutes of arc in
    diameter. Binoculars or a good sextant telescope will be enough to see it in
    some detail, and you can just make out that it is not a star even without
    optical aid. The Moon is very bright right now and city lights are always a
    nuisance, but this comet's an easy mark since it transits in the middle of
    the night. The comet is located in the constellation Perseus which passes
    high overheard at around 1 or 2am local time, closer to 2 for most time
    zones. The Declination is about 50N so look 40 degrees above Polaris at that
    time. In mid-northern latitudes, you'll be looking nearly straight up. Sorry
    Australians and other antipodeans --this one is not expected to move into
    southern declinations.
    
     -FER
    
    
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