[Post partially reconstructed after 25.10.07 hack]:
As a headline, it’s a cheap link, I know, but it was irresistible. The point is that the comet Holmes suddenly got much brighter and is now beginning to do a naked eye display. How much brighter? It went from magnitude 17 to magnitude 2.8 over the course of a few hours. David Morrison (at NASA) who writes a newsletter about near earth objects (NEO) gives an analogy: “This is equivalent to the planet Saturn suddenly becoming as bright as the full moon.”
Before you go wild, based on this, know that
[Attempt at reconstruction of remainder of lost post follows]:
Before you go wild, based on this, know that this particular object is a yellow dot visible by naked eye in the constellation Perseus (just below Cassiopeia, in case you’re more familiar with the location of the big W of that constellation). I learned about this on Bad Astronomy, where Phil has the complete quote of David’s from the NEO newsletter (here – there are also links to further information there), as well as a post with a viewing guide for the comet’s location and a post with some pictures of his own.
This is one to watch. Perhaps it will develop further and sprout a tail…
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):