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Comet Holmes on October 31st, 2007

On October 29th, after a period of bad weather, Comet Holmes made its first short appearance above Trier  - disturbed by moonlight and clouds. The comet appeared as a very bright yellowish disc, rather resembling a small planet like Mercury or even Mars than a comet. Comet Holmes and the moon were the only object that could be recognized in the sky. Two days later, with oncoming fog but without the disturbing moonlight, Comet Holmes was a breathtaking sight in large binoculars (30 x 80). It showed a distinct core and a coma within a  bright aureole that included a dark ring. With averted vision an even larger aureole could be seen.

Comet Holmes taken at the prime focus of a guided TeleVue NP 127 f/5.2 refractor, Nikon D80, composite of two unprocessed images at 800 ISO, the exposure time was 20 seconds.

The same image in a processed version. A high pass filter was applied to enhance the image contrast. Unfortunately this process leads to a loss of sharpness. The frame was then combined with the original file. The dark outer ring is an artefact. Processed with Adobe Photoshop Elements.

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