Comet 17P/Holmes is now visible for Northern Hemisphere stargazers. On Wednesday this week some outburst from this two-mile-wide body kicked up its brightness from magnitude 17 to nearly 2, a factor of about a half-million.
Chris Peterson of Cloudbait Observatory in Colorado has this telescopic image:
© Copyright 2007, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.
Sky and Telescope provides a map for you:
This is the sky just after dusk in the early evening. Face northeast. Perseus looks rather cartoonish with the constellation lines drawn in, but he was actually a bad-ass action hero in his mythological day. No danger of him hurling this comet toward Earth, though. We’ve known about Comet 17P/Holmes for over a century. Until the middle of this week, it was just a faint ball of dirty ice in a seven-year orbit. It will likely send lots of astronomy enthusiasts out into the next few cold Fall evenings to catch a glimpse.