There was a lot of chatter today, and especially tonight, on the TAC mail list about comet Holmes. Word has it that this object suddenly brightened by a factor of several thousand times within a 24 hour period. At magnitude 2.5, it’s bright enough now so that it’s visible to the naked eye.<br />n<br />nI pulled out my scope since everyone on TAC was getting pretty excited, and I already had it identified without any equipment. It was certainly something to behold. It contained a very bright nucleus with a glow all around it, not really a halo, but more of like a circular cloud. There was no tail to it to speak of, but after spending a few minutes at the eyepiece, at both 48 and 120 power, I could detect that the central nucleus was a bit off center, with a hint there may be a tail lurking in that cloud of brightness. My eye sees it as a pale yellow color, confirmed by all the other reports streaming in.<br />n<br />nNeat surprise, especially after yesterday’s sighting of the ISS with the shuttle following it, catching up to it, about 10 minutes later. Glad I put in the (minimal) effort to drag out the scope.