Good reports everyone and some great sketches from Carlos Hernandez, Jeff Young, and Bill Weir since I last checked in.
Clouds, work, and moonlight have kept me away from Lulin since March 5th, but last night, Tues. March 17th (St. Paddy's Day, Jeff
), I got an opportunity to look at Lulin once again.
Bill, it seems I was out about one hour and forty-five minutes before you were. Comparing our sketches, Lulin didn't really shift its position in that interval very much. I doubt it moved more than a couple of arcminutes in the hour I observed it. You can really tell it's headed on out from us now.
I knew fron starcharts that the comet was close to Wasat (Delta Gem) in Gemini. I used a nice, fairly widefield 23mm Burgess Optical EP that gives me 19x and a 2.5Â° FOV in the Astroscan to locate the comet. Centering on Wasat, I looked and saw nothing. I scanned around--still nothing. I went back to Wasat and looked harder--there it was, about 1Â° SW of Wasat. Lulin has *really* faded since I last saw it two weeks ago in the moonlight.
I bumped the magnification up to 29x and then 37x. The comet tail appeared fanlike and spread out to the SE ( ~PA 110Â°) and about 20 arcmins long. There was a faint extension to the SSE (~PA 165Â°). Here are the details:
m1= 7.2 DC= 3 Dia= 8'
It was nice to see Comet Lulin again as it heads on back out to the Oort Cloud--what a journey!