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Cometary crowd-pleasers

Submitted by John Stephenson

Comet Holmes gives off a fuzzy glow in a FirstPerson snapshot taken Nov. 12.

You could say that Comet Holmes is the "people's comet" because it's been so widely seen and photographed by regular folks over the past few weeks. Now that the comet is beginning to fade, it's a good time to check out some of the greatest hits, including a FirstPerson time-lapse view.

The view above is a FirstPerson contribution from John Stephenson of Wappinger Falls, N.Y. This picture of Comet Holmes was taken just before 10 p.m. on Nov. 12, with a Nikon digital camera attached to an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

Submitted by John Goode

This montage shows how the dust cloud 

around Comet Holmes grew from Oct. 28 to

Nov. 2. Click on the image for a larger version.

The time-lapse view, seen at right, shows how Holmes' fuzzy dust cloud grew over the course of several days from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2. John Goode contributed this composite from Bandera, Texas.

As we discussed last week, the comet made a splash back on Oct. 23, when scientists believe a piece of the nucleus broke off and disintegrated. Over the weeks that followed, the cloud of debris spread out, giving the comet a ghostly appearance in the night sky. reports that the comet's brightness is fading as it recedes from the solar system's center - and it's now said to be nearing the edge of naked-eye visibility. Tonight provides a good capper to the sky show, as the comet passes right in front of Mirfak, the brightest star in the constellation Perseus. This map helps you locate the fuzzball in relation to the easily recognizable "W" of Cassiopeia's chair in northern skies.

For more pictures of the crowd-pleasing comet, check out's 19-page gallery of photos - and feel free to send us your own.