“Comet Holmes flared up from a magnitude 17 to magnitude 2 in just 24 hours from October 24 to 25, 2007.”
– Charlie Kiesel, Amateur Astronomer
October 31, 2007 Fort Branch, Indiana – Today I received the following email from amateur astronomer Charlie Kiesel who lives in Fort Branch, Indiana. He has sent the images of Comet Holmes seeming to erupt in two of 28 images Charlie photographed on Sunday night, October 28, 2007, at 9:59:38 PM CDT and 10:06:51 PM CDT. Charlie has sent the “erupting” images to Spaceweather.com and other NASA comet websites for comment. He told me, “Comet Holmes flared up from a magnitude 17 to magnitude 2 in just 24 hours from October 24 to 25, 2007.”
Charlie Kiesel, Amateur Astronomer, Fort Branch, Indiana: “I have photographed comets for several years using camera equipment, tripod and timed exposures. I started this with Haley’s Comet in 1986 and have photographed many since.
Saturday night, October 27, 2007, my wife was looking at the comet through 7 X binoculars and was sure she saw something move off and away from the comet. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but the next night (Sunday, October 28), I took about thirty photographs of the comet–timed exposures of 7- 15 seconds with a Sony H1 12 X optical lens (camera specs in File/Folder Info below). I recorded two photos with something seemly being ejected from the comet or from some pieces of it which may have been blown off and to the front of the comet and then exploded into view briefly on their own.
I have contacted a local, very good astronomy club, [ I was once a member of the club–Evansville Astronomy Club, Evansville, Indiana] about the photos. I have also added links to my photos which have been posted on Spaceweather.com and a NASA site to verify my credibility. I have attached the original photos and my cropped and enhanced versions. You can view whatever was photographed by zooming in on the original photos as well. I will also attach a photo that shows nothing extra – like all the other 28 photos taken that evening (except the two).”
October 28, 2007 – What Came Out of Comet Holmes?
Hypothesis by Charlie Kiesel
At first I thought I had captured an eruption of material from the comet itself. That, however, did not seem reasonable. How could it move 50,000 or 100,000 miles or more in a minute or two?
Next I thought that material might have been ejected on Oct. 24th and was following behind the comet as it moves away from earth tail first. That would leave the material clear of comet and yet near it. We could see it from earth if it erupted and since the comet itself seems to be made of volatile material the debris would make a bright impact also.
My next concern was how could material spread so fast from an eruption of material from the debris and maybe cover 25,000 or 50,000 miles or much more of space in a couple of minutes?
This is where I am now. The trailing debris explodes with a lot of light which then illuminates trailing gases from the comet or creates a chemical reaction of some kind which illuminates a large area instantly and out in front of the comet where we can see it easily. That might explain how a large area of the space near the comet might be illuminate only briefly–1 or 2 minutes.
That is the only way I think the photos can be explained.
The flares in my photos are in the same general direction from the comet that the material my wife, Jann, saw through the 7 X binoculars the night before. What she saw was at the 12 or 1 o’clock position relative to the comet and my photos are at about 1 and 2 o’clock positions.
If any Earthfiles viewers are also photographing Comet Holmes and might have photographed gas eruptions, please contact me at: [email protected]
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Sky & Telescope: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/home/10862521.html
Charlie Kiesel Webpage: http://home.insightbb.com/~charjann/
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