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Doctroid

The thrill is gone

Well, I've seen Comet Holmes again, tonight. The sky was clear enough in the early evening to get a glimpse -- an hour later it had clouded over in the east. But the comet was a very different sight than it was ten days previously. It's gotten bigger, which makes it more diffuse, and the Moon is in the sky, washing everything out. So what was, through binoculars, a stunning clear blob a week and a half ago tonight was a barely visible smudge. Naked eye visibility was hopeless.

A day ago Holmes's coma was between us and Mirfak (Alpha Persei), and that might've been a sight worth seeing. Unfortunately it was cloudy here. Tonight the comet was just above Mirfak.

So I think the previous sighting will have to stand as the one good one -- unless, of course, Holmes repeats its 1892 trick of brightening twice.

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Doctroid

September 2009

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