March 15, 2014
Comet Holmes, which was first discovered in 1896. It's currently visible to the naked eye. For an hour Tuesday night, JMU students observed the comet from the astronomy park.
The comet shocked astronomers last week with a spectacular eruption. In less than 24 hours, the comet brightened by a factor of nearly a million, becoming a naked-eye object in the evening sky.
A grad student from the Institute of Technical and Scientific Communication, Raphael Perrino, says comets have always drawn speculation from astronomers.
"You're looking at a ball of rock and ice that's shooting jets of gas and ice into space creating a coma, and creating a tail that's millions of miles long. So it's a pretty dramatic thing that's occurring in the solar system, I think," says Perrino.