17P Holmes

Closest to Earth on 5 Nov 2007 at 1.62AU.
Closest to Sun on 4 May 2007 at 2.05AU.
Maximum magnitude 2 in October 2007
Orbital period: 6.9 years

17P Holmes on 2008 Jan 4.48UT
2x3 min exposures. Canon 300D digital camera. 200mm zoom lens, cropped.
My observation with the unaided eye on January 4 indicated a magnitude of about 3.5 and coma size of 1 x 1.3 degrees!
On October 24, 2007, this usually faint, distant comet 17P Holmes underwent a major outburst and rapidly rose to magnitude 2. Since then, the comet has maintained a steady brightness with the coma slowly expanding and becoming more diffuse. The comet was still as bright as magnitude 4 during March but appeared large and very diffuse. It is no longer observable from the southern hemisphere.