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Flare-Up: Comet Holmes' surprise bloom

In less than 24 hours, a small, faint comet became 400,000 times brighter late last month, blossoming into a fuzzy, starlike apparition visible to the naked eye. Now, 3 weeks after its spectacular flare-up, Comet 17P/Holmes remains visible to the naked eye in the constellation Perseus, which stands nearly overhead from the United States soon after midnight.

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