Elburz Mountain Range and Holmes

April 15, 2008


Referred by: Babak Tafreshi
Summary authors & editors: Babak Tafreshi, Jim Foster, Stu Witmer

The photo above shows a nighttime view of the snow covered Elburz Mountain Range of Iran as well a moonless starry sky featuring Comet Holmes seen as the fuzzy object at upper center (click on picture to enlarge). It was taken December 9, 2007 near the city of Fashan, Iran. The fall and early winter of 2007 was particularly cold and snowy in Central Asia, and this cold, clear night was ideal for stargazing. The star cluster at top left is the Pleiades. At the top right is Capella, the brightest star in the constellation of Auriga and sixth brightest in the sky. Comet Holmes mysteriously increased in brightness in October 2007 from a magnitude 12, which made it viewable only with a telescope, to a magnitude of almost 2, which is nearly as bright as the brightness stars in the Big Dipper.