A moonlit autumn night at slopes of Mount Damavand, the highest live volcano of all Asia. The bright diffuse star close to Alpha Persei (Mirfak) is Comet Holmes, during its outstanding eruption in 2007. Comet 17P/Holmes surprised astronomers and stargazers around the world when it increased in brightness over half a million times in a matter of hours (2007 October 24). The outburst transformed it from an obscure and faint comet quietly orbiting the Sun with a period of about 7 years to a naked-eye object rivaling the brighter stars in the constellation Perseus. Click on the second photo to see a wider angle view of this scene.



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