50.1 MB (3.2 MB compressed)
4497 x 3891 pixels
38.1 x 33.0 cm ⏐ 15.0 x 13.0 in (300dpi)
BABAK TAFRESHI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BABAK TAFRESHI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Moonlit night at Mount Damavand, Iran. This active volcano is the highest mountain in the Middle East, reaching an elevation of 5610 metres. It is located in the Alborz mountains. This moonlit autumn night includes Comet Holmes, the bright diffuse object at upper right, close to the star Alpha Persei (Mirfak). Comet 17P/Holmes increased in brightness over half a million times in a matter of hours (24 October 2007). The outburst transformed it from an obscure and faint comet with a Sun-orbiting period of about 7 years, to a naked-eye object rivalling the brighter stars in the constellation Perseus.
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