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Huge comet outburst!

(h/t Bad Astronomer)

17th to 3rd magnitude in less than 24 hours!

I just got back from a look at this one. Yesterday, even my 12.5" telescope would have shown nothing. This evening, my first thought was "oh my -- the AAVSO is probably getting a bunch of calls!" To the naked eye, it seems Perseus has another 2nd magnitude star, just a hair fainter than Algol. Even in 10x binocs it's only vaguely non-stellar. I got a good look in a 4" telescope at 60x, where it showed a bright but small halo around a nearly stellar nucleus. Not as flashy as Hyakutake or Hale-Bopp, but very nearly as bright as either!

Even if you don't have a scope, go out and take a look! It's not every day you get a 2nd magnitude surprise overnight...

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