BRIDGEPORT, WV (S-M) Here are some quick facts about Comet 17/P Holmes :
The comet has an orbital period of 6.8 years. It last reached perihelion, its closest approach to the Sun, on May 4 2007. At that time, it was 2AU (186 million miles) from the sun.
Today, the comet is about 1.6AU (149 million miles) from Earth and about 2.4AU (223 million miles) from the Sun.
The comet's nucleus is believed to measure only about 3.5 km in diameter.
The comet was discovered November 6 1892 by Edwin Holmes in London. Before its recent outburst, it was only magnitude 17, and barely visible in a large telescope. On October 23 2007 the comet unexpectedly brightened to magnitude 2.5 and became visible to the naked eye in the constellation Perseus. - GW
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Copyright 2007 Starry Mirror and Glen Ward
QUICK FACTS ABOUT COMET HOLMES - OCTOBER 31
Photo : Glen Ward