Comet 2001 Q4 NEAT as imaged by Steve Brewster on May 10, 2004 using the 30-inch Carroll telescope. This is a series of 10 images, each of 5 seconds duration, and stacked by aligning all images on the comet's bright coma. A number of "hoods" or "shells" can be seen surrounding the nucleus indicating a very active comet with much material being blown away. This image was taken one day after the comet made its closest approach to the Sun
Comet P/Holmes was a comet without a tail. Actually the comet was imaged near its opposition point, directly opposite the Sun, so from that vantage point, the observer is looking down the length of any tail streaming away from the comet and the Sun. This image was made by Michael Madsen at SRO with an AstroPhysics 6-inch refractor telescope and a Nikon D200 camera. Periodic Comet Holmes has been known since 1892. It travels in an orbit far enough from Earth so that its apparitions have been fairly dull and uneventful... until October 2007. The comet then went from a faint magnitude of 17 to a bright 2.8 within 42 hours! This outburst was the largest such event ever seen for any comet. The reason for the outburst is still unknown, but may have been the result of a collision with another orbiting body.

Mike O'Neal took the photo above of Comet Levy (1990) using a wide-field Schmidt-camera mounted on the 30-inch telescope. The field is about 5 degrees wide, showing the tail to be longer and off the frame.
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