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

Here's the place for any sights you wish to remark on

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KendalAstronomer
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Post by KendalAstronomer »

PaulC wrote:
KendalAstronomer wrote:...There was a meteor flashing through the sky as I set up...
I saw a meteor whilst looking at the comet too. :D Mine was heading southeast, just to the right (west) of the comet... maybe passing through Leo. Heard lots of owls hooting too. It was great to be observing again - the last time I had the scope out was for the partial solar eclipse last August!
My meteor took a similar trajectory. I saw another a week or so ago along the same lines too.

I was also bothered by an owl. It seemed to take exception to the revving of telescope motors and flew majestically from tree to tree making louder noises than the scope ever could... Fortunately, the trees were out of the way of the comet, so just had the local flightpath to worry about there.
Kevin Brown
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Post by Kevin Brown »

Just posted on the homepage, an image of Lulin captured tonight by Robin Scagell.

If the cloud parts, this is what it looks like!

Best of luck seeing it yourself,

Kevin
Kevin Brown, SPA webmaster
My astro blogs.. iya2009.com | Practical Astronomy magazine
Robin Scagell
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Post by Robin Scagell »

Finally managed to see and photograph the comet tonight from St Lawrence Bay, Essex. It was clear in the early evening but by 10 pm the comet was still only about 20 deg altitude and I decided to try a 'contingency shot'. Visually in 12 x 40s it was an elongated blur, easily seen but not spectacular. I first did a 30 sec image with the camera on the driven mount, the lens a Canon 28-90 mm which happened to be at 44 mm focal length, f/4.5, on Canon 40D. This gives a good impression of the binocular view:

Image

I then managed to get three shots through the telescope before the Super Polaris decided to stop driving for reasons unknown, and the clouds came over. Here is a combination of the three:

Image

It shows the slightly elongated coma. The images were stacked on the comet, so the stars are separated as the comet moved against the starry background. I have adjusted the colours of both pictures in Photoshop to make the background a more neutral colour. Despite there being only a couple of villages between us and the North Sea, the lights of Essex still produce an orange glow in the sky, even looking east over the sea.

Not the best pic of Lulin ever taken, but I hope for better in the next few days. Currently not far from Saturn – see our page here for maps and more details.

Robin
mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

I like Robin's ("as appears in binocular view" image) as shows what you can expect to see in small handheld instruments. The comet is now becoming visible earlier and earlier. My "Diary Entry" follows.
OBSERVATION EIGHT: 21-2-9: At 2310 the sky was generally clear but low down in the SE it was so murky that initially I could not locate the comet with 8 x 42 mono. After locating it with 15 x 70, then suceeded with smaller device. It was almost exactly at the equinocctial point (RA 12 dec 0) near Zavijava (Beta Virginis). An hour later I could see it in 6.5 x 21, when it was higher up but soon lost it to cloud. maf
astro_dt
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Post by astro_dt »

Hi
I managed to see Lulin Saturday evening as it emerged from the murk and light pollution around 10.15pm. Looking at Robin's photos I had far more light pollution and thin high cloud which reflected the LP back down.

Lulin was visible in 10x50 binoculars - two FOVs South of Saturn to find Virgo beta, then keeping Vb at the top of the field Lulin was in the lower half of the FOV.
The comet was right where Stellarium said it should be - credit to Jeff Stevens http://www.popastro.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=11186 On Sunday night Stellarium shows Lulin North of Vb and only 2.5deg South-West of Saturn on Monday.

I also managed to view it with my WO 66 and a 40mm eyepiece but needed averted vision to distinguish the coma and an OIII filter helped enhanced the contrast but dimmed the image.

I do have some widefield images with the Canon350 but it's going to take a lot of processing to come anywhere near a reasonable image.

It took two hours in the cold to find Lulin but then again it's only once every 49million years!
Cheers
Danny
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The question maybe "why?" but the answer is usually "why not?"
mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

I thought that it had a hyperbolic orbit....one visit only and it never will return (unless perturbed by planetary gravitation of course). maf
brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Data from the SWIFT satellite shows the comet to be shedding 800 gallons of water each second - enough to fill 15 Olympic-sized swimming pools in 15 minutes.
brian
Davej
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Post by Davej »

mike a feist wrote:I thought that it had a hyperbolic orbit....one visit only and it never will return (unless perturbed by planetary gravitation of course). maf
Hi Mike,
Read somwhere that the comet will return in a million years, doubt we will get another chance :)
Still had no luck.
this makes interesting reading.
ATB
Dave
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Davej
looking at the weather forecast I think Comet Lulin will travel another half way round its orbit before i get the chance to see it ie in another 500,000 years.
Best of luck from Cliff
PaulB
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Post by PaulB »

Thanks for that Cliff.

It's always the way isn't it. There's finely something rare to look at and the weather closes in. Why wasn't this comet visible during that cold snap, and why wasn't it in Taurus :?

I still hope that with luck, we will get to see it here in the North-West.
Paul Anthony Brierley
Observation Co-ordinator for.
Macclesfield Astronomical Society
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mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

OBSERVATION NINE: 24 Feb 09: A completely cloudy sky began to clear at 0210 and the comet was located in my (new) 8 x 50 binoculars, a couple of degrees below Saturn and sigma Leonis. it appeared as a fuzzy ball, perhaps with a fainter outer edge and maybe even smudged to the left (but could not be certain of this.) Although not visible to the unaided eye it could be cseen trough thin cloud in binoculars. More cloud problematic at 0250 but about an hour later seen again and movement obvious. maf
goodtime
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Post by goodtime »

Hey, I finally managed to see it!

I woke up at about 4:00am and looked out the window. The sky was clear, a little hazy but no clouds. I set up my scope at the living room window, did a quick align on Saturn, fussed around until I found an up to date locator map, and there it was in all its fuzzy glory! Exactly where the NASA map said it would be. I even tried getting an image but I'll have to review the frames I took and see if any of them are worth posting.

I also took a quick look at Saturn but that only whet my appetite, I'll have to make plans for an over-night viewing session and do it justice (if the MetOffice cooperates that is).

Overall, it was the best hour of observing that I've had for a long while...
Andrew
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stella
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Post by stella »

A really clear morning enabled me to spot Lulin with my 11 x 80s,
even on emerging from a brightly lit room. At 4.40 a.m. a meteor
passed directly across the comet. I was also able to locate CERES
on its present bright apparition. So in Leo there was:
1. Saturn
2. Lulin
3. meteor
4. Dwarf planet

..and over 30 satellites also tracked.
goodtime
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Post by goodtime »

stella wrote:...
At 4.40 a.m. a meteor
passed directly across the comet.
I WILL have to check the frames I shot, maybe I also got the meteor :D
Andrew
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chris51
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Comet Lulin

Post by chris51 »

Viewed Lulin this morning tracked the comet movement through star field sure has got some pace on now has anybody seen it's tail yet as i can not make it out from my location Plymouth to much light pollution i think.

Cheers Chris.


250 Skywatcher
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