Comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin), 2009/1/23

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Dave Mitsky
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Comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin), 2009/1/23

Post by Dave Mitsky »

I spent time at the Naylor Observatory the past two nights. Last night I stayed the entire night, despite being extremely sleep deprived, and was rewarded with my first views of Comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin) at approximately 5:10 a.m. EST (10:10 UT). The comet formed an isosceles triangle with Zuben Elgenubi and Zuben Eschamali in Libra. I observed this early morning "hairy star" with the ASH 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain at 118 (55mm University Optics Plössl), 144 (45mm University Optics Plössl), 162 (40mm University Optics MK-70), and 202x (University Optics König-II) and with the 5" f/5 finder at 20 (32mm unbranded Erfle), 32 (20mm Meade Series 4000 Plössl), and 40x (16mm Brandon).

Comet Lulin was perhaps in the upper sixth-magnitude range in brightness, although making an accurate estimate was difficult due to less than optimal transparency. I couldn't make out much in the way of detail, even to how concentrated the comet's fairly large coma was. Comet Lulin's orbital geometry is rather unusual. This may be its first passage through the solar system.

Finder charts are posted at http://www.skyhound.com/cometchasing/comets/2007_N3.gif and http://www.astrodrayer.com/lulin/LulinN3-1.gif

Further information on this comet is available at http://cometography.com/lcomets/2007n3.html and http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... 92534.html

Dave Mitsky
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De gustibus non est disputandum.
markt
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Post by markt »

Great report Dave! Sounds like you had a superb couple of nights observing with some top notch kit! :D

Glad you got to see Lulin, i'm looking forward to it next month. It's hiding amongst the roof tops and trees where I am atm, so roll on february when it should be brighter and also more favourably placed. :roll:
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mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

I would be interested to hear when someone sees it using binoculars. maf
stella
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Post by stella »

You didn't have to wait long. I saw it in binoculars this morning (26th)
at 06.15 U.T. It was a fuzzy blob just clearing the trees.
Magnitude just brighter than +7.
Then watched as Cosmos 1743 Rocket passed close to it.
andyT
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Post by andyT »

well done stella,i bet you were well pleased lol.
rgds,andy.
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mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

Thank You Stella : using what size binoculars?
I was going to give it a go this morning (thuesday) but although I could se M92, M13 and M5 out of the bedroom window with 8 x 42 mono, the area to the south, over the Channel was rather too murky for it to be worth while getting dressed and venturing into the street. maf
stella
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Lulin

Post by stella »

Hi Mike,
I was using 11 x 80 binoculars. The comet should brighten by
over 2 magnitudes in the next month, so could be the most
observable comet of 2009 (International year of Astronomy).
mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

It is now 0520 on the morning of 4th feb, after a rather unpleasant night when a insistent cough drove me to sleep on the couch, I ventured out the front gate at 0445 with 15 x 70s in hand and scanned the southern sky, beyond a nearby streetlight and cross a road. Soon located Zubenelgenubi (alpha Librae) with its companion star, and then 21 (nu) and 22 Librae. Finally noticed an indistinct fuzzy patch of some size, to th right of these two stars...YES! my first view of COMET LULIN. But 0500 it was hidden by cloud. maf
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Stella and Mike
Great stuff !
I hope to see this comet myself before the month is out hopefully in a couple of weeks or so.
Best of luck from Cliff
Kevin Brown
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Post by Kevin Brown »

Have just added a specific page with maps etc for Observing Comet Lulin.

Please send in any images you capture. The Comet Section Director or I, will add the best to that page.

All the best
Kevin
Kevin Brown, SPA webmaster
My astro blogs.. iya2009.com | Practical Astronomy magazine
orson
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Post by orson »

You guys are really lucky. I haven't been able to see anything where I live as it's snowing all the time! I can't even get to a main road, and my foods running out fast. If it continues I'll have to eat my cat.:(
stella
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Post by stella »

...if the cat doesn't eat you first.

And Kevin, I can see no difference between the two "here" and "here"
charts on the more detailed maps.
robin_astro
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Post by robin_astro »

Kevin Brown wrote:Have just added a specific page with maps etc for Observing Comet Lulin.
Kevin
Thanks for the info. (note the second link to the detailed charts is incorrect. It should point to http://popastro.com/img/lulinfebb.png )

Robin
Davej
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Post by Davej »

orson wrote:You guys are really lucky. I haven't been able to see anything where I live as it's snowing all the time! I can't even get to a main road, and my foods running out fast. If it continues I'll have to eat my cat.:(
Make sure you cook it well orson :lol:

Thanks for the link Kevin, will the comet be visable in 10x50s (I have loand my 11x80s to my daughter who is is into astro viewing).

ATB
Dave
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Kevin Brown
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Post by Kevin Brown »

Thanks a lot, Robin and stella,

Link is fixed now.

cheers, Kevin
Kevin Brown, SPA webmaster
My astro blogs.. iya2009.com | Practical Astronomy magazine
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