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"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Monday, November 05, 2007

I'm hoping this is the one that takes Tom Cruise to the Old Mutha (Hubbard) ship.

Arizona Range News: Comet Holmes 17p: A bright, oddball Halloween visitor from Deep Space

Small, faint Comet Holmes 17P surprised astronomy observers around the globe by suddenly becoming bright enough (at a visual magnitude rating of 2.5, a measure of brightness that astronomers use) to see with the naked eye on Oct. 25. Earlier in the month it had been one million times fainter (at a magnitude of +17) and not visible to the unaided eye. The comet, now located in the constellation Perseus in the northeastern night sky, became even brighter on Oct. 26 and 27, and now looks like a fuzzy, yellowish star with the unaided eye. The smaller the number is for an object's magnitude, the brighter the object is, and negative magnitudes are very bright objects. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, has a magnitude of -1.42, with negative numbers showing even brighter objects. The brightest planet in the night sky, Venus, has a magnitude from -4.1 to -4.4.

Why did this comet suddenly become millions of times brighter in a few days, or perhaps even in a few hours? What is the source of the energy needed to do this? Does it come from inside the comet, or is something outside affecting it? The reasons why Comet Holmes has had such an explosive outburst are not understood at all. Some scientists are wondering if it has developed a large crack, or fissure, and this is causing more dust and ice to stream away from it. Or it could be an out gassing event reflecting sunlight, possibly related to ice melting over a gas-filled cavern. It might even be a partial breakup of the comet's nucleus.

Amazingly, it already made its closest to the Sun last May, at 191 million miles (307 million kilometers) from the Sun. The comet is now moving away from the Sun and currently is quite far out from Earth at a distance of 151 million miles (243 million kilometers), where the effects of the Sun on it are less. In spite of this, Loretta McKibben, (a volunteer telescope operator at Flandrau), noted that the coma of the comet increased in size about 10% on Saturday, October 27, from views seen the night before.

Due to time constraints, we now move to further action.

Edwin Holmes in London, England discovered comet Holmes in November 1892, and it was spotted again in the 1960s. This comet is part of Jupiter's "family" of comets-a group in of icy bodies, which cluster around the orbit of Jupiter, and takes 6.88 years to make one circuit around the Sun. Jupiter's powerful gravity has altered the orbits of Comet Holmes over time. The comet was considered "lost" for nearly 60 years before it was finally recovered with a large observatory telescope in 1964.

Comet Holmes is not alone in exhibiting anomalous effects. In the past, other comets have undergone unexpected outbursts in brightness. This is not the first outburst for Comet Holmes: when it was discovered in 1892, it was in outburst mode, since it became as bright as fourth magnitude and was dimly visible to the naked eye.

As to what Comet Holmes will do in the coming weeks is not known. If you have your own binoculars or a small telescope, use the Perseus constellation diagram to locate this comet. Perseus is in the northeast sky after sunset, and appears almost directly overhead at about midnight for the next few weeks. Viewers all report the comet as appearing star-like. The comet should appear as a slightly fuzzy, white to yellowish star to the unaided eye. Binoculars and/or a low powered telescope are recommended to spot the comet.

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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