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C/2007 N3 (Lulin)

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#51 Special Ed

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 12:18 PM

Hey Rich,

Glad you got a chance to start tracking Lulin. Interesting that I could finally see it with 36mm of aperture at 12x and you couldn't with 63mm--LP is a real killer. By my estimate it's gained a whole magnitude in brightness in the last 4 weeks--hope that trend continues. :)

#52 Tonights Sky

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 11:31 AM

I finally (after 3 attempts) spoted Lulin yesterday morning, like most of you, I couldnt spot it with my 7x35 binoculars, but I fairly easily found it with my 4.5" meade reflector. Observed in heavy light pollution, some clouds to the SE and moonlight. I was able to see it until about 20 minutes after twilight began, then it disapeared.

Looking forward to more images on here (hopefully I'll be able to contribute with my barndoor tracker) As well as Feb 24, and Lulins visit with Saturn!

#53 roccodm

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 01:05 PM

excellent sketches to all- sketching is something i plan on starting as soon as it warms up a little in these parts-i get home from work around 4am so i am hoping to catch lulin with my ar-5 if i ever get some clear skies - this winter has been a bear as far as clear skies-i might even try to pick it up with the little etx60 -clear skies rocco

#54 Special Ed

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 10:11 PM

Hi,

I'm glad to see some more people are catching a look at Lulin. :)

I observed Comet Lulin again this morning for about an hour, first with the 12x36 binoculars and then with the 108mm reflector. Conditions were good with 6.0+ NELM at the zenith and before moonrise.

The comet was easy in the 12x36's and was still close to the 5th magnitude pair 41 Librae and kappa Librae. I noticed looking on my chart that it's really going to start crossing some sky every 24 hours now. It moved during the time I observed it but I didn't note carefully where it was at the beginning of my observation because I was too busy trying to tweak detail out of it so I didn't include that position in my sketch. :foreheadslap:

At 42x I was able to see that the coma was irregular and appeared to be elongated from west to east. By using averted vision and tapping the tube, I once made out a faint streak at ~PA 100° but I never saw it again so I didn't include it in the sketch.

I compared it to a nearby 7.1 magnitude star using the in-out method and felt like it was at magnitude 7.1 or maybe a tad brighter.

C/2007 N3 (Lulin) 2009.01.23 1100 UT m1= 7.1 DC= 5 Dia= 8'

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#55 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 08:44 AM

Special Ed

Like your sketch. That is what Lulin looked like with my 10" refl under light polluted and hazy skies.

Thanks for the view.
Rich (RLTYS)

#56 Special Ed

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:34 AM

Thanks, Rich. Hope you get a chance to see the comet from a dark site with your 10" scope--you should be able to see the tail(s). I should have mentioned that my scope never cooled down properly during my last observation and I believe that affected my view. Also forgot to mention that I thought I saw a stellar pseudo-nucleus pop in and out one time with averted vision but could never confirm it. It will be nice when Lulin comes up even earlier and we won't have to race the encroaching dawn. :)

#57 Reed

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 11:26 AM

Special Ed,

I like your equipment. I got to see the comet in my Astroscan this morning and the view was the same, even down to the pseudo-nucleus poping in and out. Since I had just dashed outside at 5:45AM in my bathrobe with my Astroscan under my arm there was no cool down time.

Good sketch, thank you.

Reed

#58 Jeff Young

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 12:51 PM

Lulin won't be out of my light pollution for another few weeks, but I'm catching up on it to prepare for when it finally does show itself.

Did Quanzhi at Lulin Observatory discover this comet? I've exchanged emails with him a few times over the years -- he's the author of 7Timer (sort of a CSC for those of us not covered by the Canadian Meteorological Centre's data).

Did you guys see Martin McKenna's sketch on ASOD? (http://www.asod.info/?p=1543)

Cheers,
-- Jeff.

#59 Tonk

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 04:09 PM

Did Quangzhi at Lulin Observatory discover this comet?


Discoverers cited here http://en.wikipedia....iki/Comet_Lulin

If you meen Ye Quanzhi then yes - would be interesting to know if comet lulin and 7timer are related!

#60 Special Ed

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 05:34 PM

Special Ed,

I like your equipment. I got to see the comet in my Astroscan this morning and the view was the same, even down to the pseudo-nucleus poping in and out. Since I had just dashed outside at 5:45AM in my bathrobe with my Astroscan under my arm there was no cool down time.

Good sketch, thank you.

Reed


Thanks, Reed. If you were out in your bathrobe, I'll bet your personal cool down time set a record. :grin:

Interesting that you saw the pseudo-nucleus too--thanks for the confirmation. :)

The Astroscan has its flaws but its one huge advantage (beside the widefield) is ease of use. :cool:

@ Jeff--hope you can observe Lulin soon. I saw Martin McKenna's fine sketch. :)

#61 Jeff Young

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 05:44 PM

Tony --

Very cool. Yes, they are one and the same: Ye Quanzhi (the author of 7Timer) leads the Lulin Sky Survey, and apparently discovered the comet on plates taken by Lin Chi-Sheng. Very interesting!

-- Jeff.

#62 timokarhula

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 03:19 AM

Did Quanzhi at Lulin Observatory discover this comet? I've exchanged emails with him a few times over the years -- he's the author of 7Timer (sort of a CSC for those of us not covered by the Canadian Meteorological Centre's data).

-- Jeff.


Yes, both Quanzhi Ye (at Sun Yat-sen university in Guangzhou) in China and Chi-Sheng Lin in Taiwan discovered jointly this comet. It was found on images taken with the 16-inch telescope at Lulin observatory as part of their sky survey on July 11, 2007, in Nan-t’ou, Taiwan.

I also exchanged e-mails with Quanzhi Ye congratulating him for his discovery. For Taiwan, it was their first comet discovery ever.

/Timo Karhula

#63 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 02:45 AM

Thanks for the ongoing observation notes and sketches, everyone.

After making a couple other early morning observations on January 28, 2009, I turned the telescope on Comet Lulin. Astronomical twilight was threatening, and I needed to move quickly. The view was much better than earlier in the month. The coma appeared brighter and larger and both ion and dust tails appeared longer. The dust tail appeared to be about 12 arc minutes in length at a PA of 100°. It also appeared heavier on its southern side. The ion tail was still more difficult and appeared to be about 8 arc minutes in length at a PA of 280°. The coma took an elongated appearance, stretching in the direction of the two opposing tails. It was very slightly tinted green. The pseudo-nucleus appeared as a thicker knot of brightness at the center and I would rate the degree of condensation as 6.

I took a couple minutes to attempt a more attentive magnitude estimate. With my 32 mm Plössl, I defocused at low power and compared it to a couple nearby stars. The comet appeared brighter than HIP 75532 (vMag 7.74) and fainter than 28 Librae (vMag 6.15). It was a bit closer to 28 Librae in magnitude, so I would estimate the comet at 6.8 magnitude. That's a significant difference from my rough estimate earlier in the month, but it still makes for a great, bright telescopic comet.

If you are observing the comet with a telescope under skies that are even slightly compromised, the tails will likely be very difficult to see. Under excellent conditions at Sunset Crater National Monument this morning, they were still very subtle. The coma, however, is readily visible and should still provide a nice view of the comet even if the tails don't show up. I'm still looking forward to its appearance at opposition in February when it will swing by at a more reasonable hour of the night. :)

Full report details and larger sketch can be found here: C/2007 N3 (Lulin) - JAN 28, 2009

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#64 kent

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 05:33 AM

Just came in from checking it out. Had no trouble spotting it in my 20x80 binos. Couldn't quite make it out with my 7x35's. First time spotting it this morning.
I'll be keeping a eye on it till it's goes to it's maximum mag. later in Feb.

#65 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 07:02 AM

I also just finished observing Comet Lulin from my back room for the first time :jump:. Estimates in magnutude would be at around 7.0 and it looked like a fuzzy version of the Saturn Nebula in my 25x100 binoculars. I would have dragged my p-mount out for a steadier view , but the temp was -17C this morning !!!

I'm not very good at judging angular sizes unless there is an object nearby to compare to, so I guess the size looked like almost the same, or slightly smaller then M-92 in Hercules. I have included a quick drawing of what I saw thriugh my 25x100 Celestron Skymaster binocs. I'm going to keep a sharp eye on this one as well.

Thanks to all for the wealth of info and maps enabling me to find this comet!

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#66 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 08:36 AM

Observed Comet Lulin, again, on the 29th under brighter then expected skies (light pollution). Even with the 10" scope using magnifications rangeing from 76 to 248x I can't even begin to spot the two tails. :( I might have glimpsed the pseudo nucleus but because of poor seeing conditions (5/10) and a scope not given enough of "cool down" time I'm not sure of this observation. I would still give the Coma Condensation a 1.0.

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#67 jcham21

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 08:54 AM

Just finished processing this shot from this morning:

Posted Image

Larger: http://farm4.static....60a3043c2_o.jpg

Posted Image

Larger: http://farm4.static....084598c2e_b.jpg

Photo Details:
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Mississippi River Levee
Celestar 8
Manually guided through OAG
Canon XTi
20 X 120 second exposures (40 min. total)
ISO 1600
4:54-5:42 AM CST
10:54-11:42 UT

This shot came out fairly well considering my corrector plate was half dewed over the entire time I was photographing Lulin. I think my focus was a little off as well. The above two factors may have lost the tails for me.

Nice sketches guys. I will try to process this more, perhaps do a star freeze later today.

James

#68 Special Ed

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 09:18 AM

Great sketch, Jeremy and a very nice observational sketch from you, Markus. Great pics, James. Thanks to all for the reports. :)

I observed Comet Lulin this morning,too. Since I have observed it several times now, I tried to find it without using a chart. Focusing my 12x36 IS binoculars on Beta Scorpii, I followed its trail past the pair 47 Librae and Lambda Librae and on by the pair 41 Librae and Kappa Librae and there it was--very bright in the binoculars under clear dark skies.

I took a look for it with the unaided eye, and although I could see the 6.2 mag stars 26 and 28 Librae, I couldn't confirm a visual sighting of Lulin. I don't think it will be long before people are posting visual sightings. I compared Lulin to M4 and it was much brighter in the binoculars--my rough estimate was 6.5. Here are the details:

C/2007 N3 (Lulin) 2009 January 31 1110 UT
m1= 6.5 DC= 5/ Dia= 8'
S: 4/10 T: 5/6 Alt: 33°

The coma appeared irregular and maybe a little bigger than 8 arcminutes, but it was hard for me to estimate the diameter with the big 5° FOV of the binocs--I hope to make a better estimate with a telescopic observation tonight. Same with the degree of condensation. Temp was 11°F (-12°C) and the wind was blowing so I didn't linger.

#69 canopus56

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 09:25 PM

Observing Report Comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin) 2009-1-31 12:45UT (1-31 05:45 MST)

I tried to find Coment Lulin from the Salt Lake City valley floor at 12UT (5MST). Light pollution backscatter into valley smog prevented acquisition.

I drove to Little Mtn. Pass, arriving at 12:45UT (5:45MST). Temperatures were are around -3C; ZLM was about 4.6 (del CrB); NELM near target area in Libra was 4.5 (psi Oph) with noticeably lower transparency. On the eastern horizon at 20 deg alt, the Milky Way was visible from Cass in the northeast through Aql in the east east south. It was the end of astronomical twilight. The first hints of nautical twilight could be seen on the southeast horizon.

Because of the weather, 8x35 (3 deg TFOV) and 20x70 binoculars (1 deg TFOV) were used.

Comet Lulin is a fast moving object. On this night, it was located by traversing from Zuben Elakrab (38 Gam, 4v), the southeastern star of the Libra square to a chevron of three prominent stars. zet4 35 Lib (5v), zet3 34 Lib (6v) and zet1 32 Lib (5.6v). The comet was easily acquired 6 degs north west west of this chevron in the 8x35 binos.

After dark adaptation, it was possible to more directly navigate to the target by direct acquisition of iot1 24 Lib (4.5v). 1.5 degrees north east of iot1 Lib is a triangular asterism consisting of HD135208 (a double est 6.5v combined), HD134812 (6.8v) and HD135230 (6.2v). Above the eastern side of that triangle were two fainter stars, HD135152 (SAO159115, 8.5v) and HD135125 (SAO159113, 9v), separated by 10 arcmins. These two stars where within a 1 deg TFOV of Comet Lulin.

Lulin itself was very pleasing. It was about 8 arcmins in diameter with a slight central coma definition - DC2. No tail was apparent, but I understand imagers have captured one. It was reminiscent of the Dumbbell Nebula, M27.

Using the in-out method, I estimated it around 7.7 mags +-0.5mags. It was brighter than HD134812 (6.8v) and dimmer than HD135152 (8.5v).

Mars was bright and directly at the zenith and 2 magnitudes brighter than Spica. (Mars was not positioned for binocular observing.)

Saturn was well positioned about 35 degs off the south western horizon and was 0.5 mags brighter than Spica.

By 13:15UT (6:15am), nautical twilight was clearly taking the eastern horizon; cold chill started to penetrate my parka; the session was ended.

Lulin's apparent motion currently takes it along the ecliptic in a retrograde path along a line between alf Lib (Zubenelgenubi) and alf Virgo (Spica). This means it is traveling outbound from the Sun at a low inclination to the solar system's plane.

Overall, this was worth the drive after a couple of weeks of cloud out in the valley. A nice early morning treat. If driving out of the city, I would recommend leaving about one-half hour earlier than I did and arrive at 5:15am. Plan to stay until 5:45am.

Tomorrow morning (2-1-2009 12:15UT; 5:15MST), Comet Lulin will be a degree north of the HD135208-HD134812-HD135230 triangle and will still be easily found from a semi-rural sky using 8x35 binos.

Clear Skies - Canopus56

#70 Carl Kolchak

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 10:57 PM

Observing report from Jacksonville, Florida USA. After several failed attempts to spot Lulin from home I was successful this morning. From 10:30 UT - 10:45 UT today I tried to spot Lulin from home using my Scenix 10x50s and was unable to see it. I think the main reason was a dome of LP in a SW direction from a mall in my area.

From 10:45 UT - 11:06 UT - I did set up the Zhumell 20x80s on the Orion Paragon-Plus mount and found it to be an easy target. :) I did not notice any color to it. The core looked to be somewhat brighter than the surrounding smudge of light. There was no evidence of a tail either. I look forward to a few more observations of this comet.

peace & clear skies,

#71 Tonk

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 03:28 AM

Nice reports Michael, Canopus and Richard. Lovely pic James. Still not see Lulin yet :(

Mars was bright and directly at the zenith and 2 magnitudes brighter than Spica. (Mars was not positioned for binocular observing.)


Not Mars! Mars is currently close to the sun in the deep morning twilight. It will be undergoing some nice but difficult to observe conjunctions with Mercury and Jupiter in the next few weeks. Sounds like this was Arcturus you picked out

#72 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 08:43 AM

To All

Was able to observe Comet Lulin this morning (2/1/09) under slightly darker then expected skies. Also I was able to observe Lulin from a spot in my yard where street lights weren't as much of a problem as on previous observations. For the first time I was able to spot Lulin with my 12x63's. Lulin looked like a faint out-of-focused star. I then quickly got out my 10" refl. I wasn't able to spot Lulin with the 8x50 finder but did get a quick view of Lulin, in the 10", before twilight became a problem. I'm finding it a little easier to see the pseudo nucleus which appears faintly as an out-of-focused star. At this point I'd give the coma Condensation a 7.0. Wish I had more time to observe Lulin.

Clear Skies.
Rich (RLTYS)

#73 Silicon Owl

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 11:16 AM

Sitting here in the driveway imaging Lulin as I type. I have quite a few frames, but dawn is coming and the image background counts are creeping up, so I am about done for the night. Hope to get in a few more sessions as the comet brightens.

Both tails easily visible in the images, I have never had a chance to see a comet with tails like this before. A lot brighter than 144P Kushida in the evening sky. Shooting both Canon 20Da and a CCD side by side. Beautiful green color in the DSLR. Have not tried visual as the local streetlights hamper night vision.

#74 djeber2

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 12:56 PM

I was able to observe the comet while standing in a foot of snow from my suburban back yard at 6am this morning, using my Celestron 15x70 binocs.

#75 canopus56

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 06:52 PM

I forgot to mention that while one is in the Lulin neighborhood, that alf Lib (Zuben Elgenubi) is a nice superwide (231") color contrast double. Smog robs alf Lib of its colors. From a higher altitude, the primary is an off-white, the secondary a silver steel color. Good bino object.


The fact that we are apparently looking at the tail, end on, as it points away from the Earth-Sun line, makes Lulin an interesting comet. - Kurt






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