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C/2007 N3 (Lulin)

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#76 Special Ed

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 09:40 PM

Kurt, Richard, Rich, Andrew, Don--
Thanks for the reports. It was very interesting to read about observations from such a wide variety of locations and conditions.

Tony, thanks--we're expecting your usual high quality images when Comet Lulin reveals itself at your latitude. :cool:

I observed Lulin this morning (Feb. 1st) for about an hour and a half with the 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain but was unable to detect the tails. Transparency was very good but the seeing was poor.

I took a wild hair yesterday and cleaned the inside of the corrector plate on the SCT--first time in 30+ years--it needed it. I followed the instructions in Rod Mollise's book Choosing and Using a Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope and everything went well (thanks Uncle Rod! :) ). Then I had to re-collimate and the seeing was too poor to get anything but a rough collimation. I feel the lack of fine collimation contributed to my inability to detect the faint tails that Lulin sports.

I used the scope straight through without a diagonal so south is up and west is to the left. The coma appeared very irregular and elongated. The central condensation appeared to be closer to the northern edge of the coma. In the hour that I was really paying attention, the comet appeared to move to the west between 2 and 3 arcminutes. This apparent motion is going to pick up as we go through the month of February. Other notes are with the sketch.

Attached Files



#77 Tonk

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 03:31 AM

Tony, thanks--we're expecting your usual high quality images when Comet Lulin reveals itself at your latitude.


I might have to disappoint :( My father is very inconviently having his 80th birthday celebrations at the crucial time. I'll be traveling without access to my gear. There will always be another :)

Actually its accessable at my latitudes now - but the weather has not cooperated yet. The weather is poor for remainder of this week, then we have the moon, then I travel.

#78 canopus56

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 04:41 PM

Moon sky washout will begin closing out this lunation's window for observing Comet Lulin beginning Feb. 6. The morning of Feb. 5 (North Am.) is probably the last dark sky day for Lulin in this cycle. - Canopus56

#79 Special Ed

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 07:12 PM

It was unexpectedly clear this morning when I got up for work so I grabbed my 10x50's and went out on the porch. Lulin was easily spotted just to the SE of Nu Librae. It seemed a little brighter--I compared it to 22 Librae using the in-out method. The coma also seemed a little bigger--perhaps due to the 10x50 binoculars. I compared it to the 14' separation between 22 Librae and Nu Librae.

C/2007 N3 (Lulin) 1100 UT 02.02.2009
S: 5/10 T: 5/6 Alt: 33°
m1= 6.4 DC= 6 Dia= 10'

Tony, as I get older, I realize what an accomplishment 80 years really is--make sure your dad doesn't get a sunburn from all those candles. :cool:

#80 jcham21

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 01:09 PM

Imaged Lulin on the morning of Feb. 3

Posted Image

Larger: http://farm4.static....ac5ef67c5_o.jpg


Posted Image

Larger: http://farm4.static....7bf3b0421_b.jpg

Posted Image

Larger: http://farm4.static....1c9fea76f_o.jpg

Image Details:
Ramah, Louisiana
February 3, 2009
4:16-4:47 AM CST
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II Camera Lens at f/2.8
Focus with homemade Bahtinov Mask
Piggybacked on Celestron C8 Fork Mount
Canon XTi
7 X 240 sec. exposures
ISO 800

I measured the ion tail to be 2 degrees long in the above image.

Thanks for looking!

James

#81 Special Ed

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 06:47 PM

James,

An excellent set of images--you have the gift. :waytogo: The ion tail is impressive.

In the bottom image, the two bright stars just to the left of Lulin are Nu Librae (top) and HIP73953 (bottom). I used the angular separation of these stars (14 arcmins) to gauge the size of Lulin's coma when I made my Feb. 2nd binocular observation. I also used HIP73953 (mag 6.4) as the comparison star to estimate Lulin's magnitude.

The bright star (with its companion) on the right edge of the image is Zubenelgenubi. :cool:

Some Italian astronomers captured a disconnection event today and posted this image on Spaceweather. :)

#82 Mike B.

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 07:08 PM

Nice work, James! Really very cool images. ;)

Everyone, compare James' images with one I took a day later and you'll notice something different:

Posted Image
Comet Lulin C/2007 N3, Feb 4th, 2009, 11:06 UT


Here's a negative image to see the tail better:

Posted Image

It looks like there was an ion tail disconnection event in progress when I took the sub-images. It will be interesting to see how it looks tomorrow morning.


#83 Jim Rosenstock

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:00 AM

Lulin was stunning this morning in 15X70 binoculars, as it approached the bright double Beta Libris. Justy north of B Libris is a faint arch of stars that it appears Lulin will pass through in the next couple of days!

Cheers,

Jim

#84 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:51 AM

Nice images and pics you guys. :bow:

I was going to view the comet with my trusty 25x100's when the clouds rolled in.

I'll try again tomorrow morning...

#85 dfell

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:36 AM

After two weeks of milky skies, I managed to spot Lulin as a pale smudge in still hazy skies this morning with 10x50 binocs. I patiently wait for a break in the weather(cold front/high) to draw and image this one.

#86 Special Ed

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:11 AM

Congratulations to Mike B and James--saw your images on Spaceweather. :cool:

@ Jim--I think you meant Alpha Lib. There should be a nice show the morning of the 6th for those with clear skies. :)

#87 jcham21

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 02:30 PM

Thank you Mr. Rosolina.

Here are my shots of Lulin from this morning, 2-5-09:

Posted Image

Larger: http://farm4.static....53d8a5099_b.jpg

Posted Image

Larger: http://farm4.static....f14a49262_o.jpg

Posted Image

Larger: http://farm4.static....ba65f6974_o.jpg

Image Details:
Ramah, Louisiana
February 5, 2009
4:29-5:42 AM CST
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II Camera Lens at f/2.8
Focus with homemade Bahtinov Mask
Piggybacked on Celestron C8 Fork Mount
Canon XTi
15 X 240 sec. exposures
ISO 800

It appears the tail is regrowing.

James

#88 Mike B.

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 07:11 AM

Congratulations to Mike B and James--saw your images on Spaceweather. :cool:

@ Jim--I think you meant Alpha Lib. There should be a nice show the morning of the 6th for those with clear skies. :)


Thanks, Michael. :)

You're right - it is a great show this morning! Check it out:

Posted Image

This is just a single 4 min long ISO 1600 sub-image taken with a TV-85 at F/5.6.

#89 1_old_dog

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 08:00 AM

fantastic shots

OD

#90 Lucky13

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 01:05 PM

I might finally get a chance to check out Comet Lulin tonight! First clear skies in a month!

#91 jcham21

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 01:36 PM

Here is my shot of double star Zubenelgenubi and Lulin from this morning:

Posted Image

Larger: http://farm4.static....fe250f1c4_b.jpg

Image Details:
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
February 6, 2009
4:29-5:38 AM CST
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II Camera Lens at f/3.2
Focus with homemade Bahtinov Mask
Piggybacked on Celestron C8 Fork Mount
Canon XTi
60 X 30 sec. exposures
ISO 1600

#92 Special Ed

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 07:53 PM

Excellent imagery from Team Louisiana. :cool: On my monitor, I can see a very faint, very long tail to the right (west) side in both Mike B's and James's pic (and a shorter one on the opposite side).

I was out this morning too--made a 15 minute visual observation that was cut short by clouds before I could do a sketch. The clouds went away just after sunrise--go figure.

Transparency was average to below average and I couldn't pick up the tails. Lulin was just to the SE of the pair of stars in the right hand leg of the arch that Jim Rosenstock mentioned. I used their separation (11') to visually gauge the comet's diameter. I compared the comet's magnitude to nearby 5 Librae using the in-out method and my 12x36 IS binocs. Comet Lulin seems to be a little more condensed.

C/2007 N3 (Lulin) 1040 UT 02.06.2009
20cm SCT f/10 @ 87x & 12x36 IS B
S: 5/10 T: 2-3/6 then cloudy Alt: 34°
m1= 6.3 DC= 6/ Dia= 10'

#93 Mike B.

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 01:00 AM

Michael, thanks and great report.

I noticed it being more condensed, too. My 4 min exposure smeared it a little when tracking the stars, but tracking the comet produced a near stellar pseudo-nucleus:

Posted Image

In addition to Alpha Librae being in the field and a few faint fuzzies (like NGC 5756 near top right,) there was a small asteroid passing through. Check out this "final" combined image:

Posted Image

Pretty neat, huh? :D

#94 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 05:34 AM

Mike B, congrats on those superb images. Congrats to the rest of you guys for those amazing shots as well. :jump:

#95 NotThePainter

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 07:09 AM

See http://notthepainter...c2007-n3-lulin/

My photos aren't nearly as good, pretty awful actually. Just how do you focus when you can't see ANYTHING in the Live View LCD?

#96 NotThePainter

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 07:47 AM

Ye Quanzhi (the author of 7Timer) leads the Lulin Sky Survey, and apparently discovered the comet on plates taken by Lin Chi-Sheng.

So why isn't the comment named Quanzhi-Chi-Sheng then? Doesn't quite seem fair...

#97 Special Ed

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 09:19 AM

Mike B, your final image is lovely (and very well presented). :)

Paul, I enjoyed reading your report--the comet is definitely much easier to spot now than in early January (if there isn't too much moonlight).

I observed the comet again this morning (Feb. 7th) in the brief window between moonset and twilight (made even briefer by intermittent clouds) with the 12x36 binocs and the SCT. The coma diameter appears very big in the binoculars--not quite so much when highly magnified through the telescope.

I went up to 168x with the Cat and used all the DSO observing tricks to glimpse detail. By tapping the OTA, moving the coma to the edge of the FOV, and using averted vision, I was able to see faint, short extensions of the coma at ~PA 110° and ~PA 290°. Also with averted vision I detected the central condensation. There appeared to be a faint streak running through the coma on the same axis as the extensions. The long tail running out to the west in images was not seen.

Although the comet is easy to find, seeing detail is still fairly difficult. Notes are with the sketch.

Attached Files



#98 SabiaJD

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 09:30 AM

Like some many here, I am waiting for clear morning skies. Warmer temps would be nice too. Until then, I'll enjoy all of the fine photographs posted in this forum.

#99 timokarhula

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 12:02 PM

It's because of political issues. Comet C/2007N3 was discovered as an asteroidal object on images taken with the Lulin Sky Survey and the 16-inch reflector by Chi-Sheng Lin at the Lulin observatory on the mountain Nan-t’ou in Taiwan. This was the first comet ever discovered from Taiwan. Yet, the cometary identity was found by Ye Quanzhi, a young student in Sun Yat-sen university in Guangzhou, China. Quanzhi is the same clever guy that provides us Europeans with the Clear-sky Clock!

/Timo Karhula, Sweden

#100 1_old_dog

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 12:27 PM

Hi all
The local late night/early morning weather has been terrible lately but after 3 nights of trying to catch this comet I finally succeeded. This morning at 0430 Lulin was in my eyepiece.

OD






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