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Indiana University Astronomy Department
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Last modified: Monday, November 5, 2007

Comet Holmes brightens by nearly one million times

Kirkwood Observatory extends hours for viewing

Nov. 5, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Kirkwood Observatory will be extending its viewing hours to 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, to allow viewing of the Comet Holmes. The comet used to be too faint to see with the Observatory's telescope. However, between Oct. 23 and 24, the comet suddenly brightened by nearly one million times, making it as bright as Big Dipper stars. The comet has not been this bright since its discovery in 1892 and will slowly fade over the coming weeks.

"The comet comes up rather late over the trees, so we are extending viewing hours at the Kirkwood Observatory so people can see it," said Department of Astronomy graduate student Brian Brondel.

The Kirkwoood Observatory is located on the Indiana University Bloomington campus just east of the intersection of Indiana Avenue and Fourth Street, behind the Law School and Bryan Hall.

  • WHAT: Extended viewing hours to view on the Comet Holmes.
  • WHEN: 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Nov., 7.
  • WHERE: Kirkwood Observatory.
  • WHO: Anyone and everyone is invited to join in the comet viewing hosted by the knowledgeable observatory staff.