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Eruption of a Comet

By: Tunc Tezel

 

Region: Middle East

Country: Turkey

Date: October 2007 - March 2008

In 2007, Comet 17P/Holmes surprised astronomers and stargazers around the world when it increased in brightness over half a million times in a matter of hours (2007 October 24). The outburst transformed it from an obscure and faint comet quietly orbiting the Sun with a period of about 7 years to a naked-eye object rivaling the brighter stars in the constellation Perseus. This sequence is a 5-month attempt that follows development of comet Holmes after its stunning eruption as it moved around Perseus. The Pleiades appear at right, to its left is the large red emission California Nebula and at the upper left is the Double Star Cluster. While this animation is not a TWAN-style imagery involving no landscape, due to its educational importance, it has been displayed here. See a still image of this sequence. Tunc Tezel

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