Tonight, the skies cleared, which made for spectacular star-gazing. A friend of mine was visiting from Ithaca, so I got out the telescope to show off a few interesting celestial objects. Scanning the night sky for the Andromeda galaxy in the vicinity of the constellation Cassiopeia, I stumbled across something unusual in the constellation Perseus. A bright fuzzy light like a giant snowball in outer space. I pointed it out to my friend, explaining that it was out of the ordinary. “I’ve never seen it before,” I said. “I think it’s a comet.” We looked it up, and sure enough, it was the comet 17P/Holmes, which recently “exploded” as it neared the sun.