Comet Holmes brightens suddenly
Initial reports suggest that the comet looks more like a fuzzy star (see above) because there is no cometary tail. That said, it may yet grow one following the outburst. If you are quick, you can look for Comet Holmes in the constellation of Perseus using the finder chart below. At this time of year Perseus remains above the horizon throughout the night, but with the Moon being close to full phase at the moment, you will need a pair of binoculars or small telescope to clearly see the comets fuzzy appearance.
You can think of comets as great dirty snowballs that hurtle around the solar system in stretched-out oval orbits around the Sun. Those that get too close find material on their surfaces being evaporated (turned into gas) by the immense heat of the Sun. The water vapour and dust released is usually blown away by Sun's rays to form an enormous tail that stretches out behind the comet. Comet Holmes orbits the Sun once every seven years at a maximum distance of 322 million km (200 million miles). It may be a new crack in this small chunk of ice that is causing it to look more reflective.