"Is Comet 17P/Holmes losing its tail?" asks Italian astronomer Paolo Berardi. "Last night I recorded an image showing a big disconnection event that was not present on Nov 8th."

©Paolo Berardi

Jack Newton of the Arizona Sky Village saw it, too. "The comet has a huge eruption moving along its tail. Holmes is more bizarre with each passing day."

This event does not necessarily signal a new outburst of Comet Holmes. Comet tails can be disconnected by gusts of solar wind which trigger magnetic storms around the comet akin to geomagnetic storms which fuel auroras on Earth.