A sketch of 17P/Holmes October 31, 2007Posted by dorigo in astronomy, personal, science.
I observed comet 17P/Holmes this evening from my terrace in Venice. Tonight the sky was clear, and despite the rising moon and the street lamps below, there were quite a few stars. I estimated a limiting magnitude of about 5. This is of course quite a turn-off for a die-hard visual observer, but the comet above my head made me forget about my usual pickiness.
I looked at the comet with 25×100 binoculars. The magnification is quite the right one for this object, it seems: one can see the comet, which spans almost 25′ across, in a rich background of milky way stars. I took note of the position and appearance of the comet, and upon coming back inside I drew the following sketch on a sheet of paper:
I apologize for the poor quality of the sketch and the paper… However, the picture shows more or less what I saw. Note the small Mv=9.5 star just to the right of the coma.
In two days I am planning to have a chance of looking at the comet from extra dark skies with the 16″ scope… I cannot wait!