C/2007 N3 (Lulin)
Posted 25 February 2009 - 01:08 AM
Clear Skies to All!
Posted 25 February 2009 - 02:28 AM
How does the comet move during the course of an evening in relation to a reference, Saturn?
I'm in Phoenix and starting at 10pm I had good view of Saturn and the mag 5 star to the right of it, but looking throughout that section of sky I failed to see the comet.
I am struggling with light cloud cover, and after having gone out again just now at midnight after reading this evenings posts of, "that was easy, it's right there a couple of degrees above Saturn", there's nothing to see for the clouds and it would seem I'm not knowledgeable enough to spot this object in the rare few minutes available of clear sky. I assume I'm just retarded since this is to be the evening of brightest viewing.
I'm using a new to me ETX-125 with a couple of 26mm, I also have a 32 and 9mm eyepiece.
I then began using my 10x20 bino's as well.
I can't begin to judge my level of light pollution but I am in the north portion of the city.
Posted 25 February 2009 - 11:37 AM
Comet Lulin on 2-25-09. 16x60 sec and 16x120 sec @ ISO 1600, Canon 200mm F/2.8, Hutech Canon XS, IDAS-LPS.
Notice that the ion tail is not in evidence. It's swinging behind the comet as our viewing angle changes. It should be visible in a few days on the same side as the dust tail, in contrast to where it was before. Also note how long the dust tail has gotten as the viewing angle changes to a more perpendicular angle.
Posted 25 February 2009 - 11:48 AM
Clear Skies to All!
Posted 25 February 2009 - 12:16 PM
@ coeff--don't feel too bad that you couldn't find the comet. I looked for it around Saturn, too this morning and couldn't find it at first. That was because it was already about 6Â° west of Saturn --Lulin is a fast mover for sure. Look on a line between Saturn and Regulus. Use one of the simple charts by S&T or Spaceweather. Use your binoculars first to locate it and then put your scope on it. Good luck!
Posted 25 February 2009 - 12:27 PM
Very nice image, Mike. Lulin is assuming the "classic" comet look. What time did you take your image? I was out from 0500-0700 UT this morning (midnight-2AM local) and will post my observation and report this evening after I get home from work.
I was out early and started observing and imaging Lulin as soon as it got high enough to see. Some of my images had tree branches in them. Heheh!
The good images I caught are from about 5:30 UT to 7:30 UT on Feb 25th, 2009. I'd have to check my sub-images to be sure, but I think that is about right.
Posted 25 February 2009 - 02:12 PM
I also observed Comet Lulin with my 8x42 Celestron Regals (the comet and Saturn were still in the same 6.25 degree field of view), a 16" LightBridge with a Denkmeier binoviewer and 21mm Denkmeier oculars, and a 20" Obsession and a 35mm Panoptic. The comet's pseudonucleus was very prominent and its dust tail extended for approximately 3/4's of a degree.
Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:09 PM
Through the telescope, it was remarkably bright. There was a star-like nucleus easily visible. The width of the coma was, I'd estimate, roughly a quarter of a degree. There was a brighter spot right near the core, towards the side of the coma opposite the tail. The tail appeared to be a degree in length.
Of course, these are just very rough estimates, but overall I consider the view quite satisfying.
Posted 25 February 2009 - 10:01 PM
Posted 25 February 2009 - 10:37 PM
Posted 25 February 2009 - 10:48 PM
As I reported earlier, after fooling around looking for the comet near Saturn, I realized that it had moved on and found it easily with the 12x36 binocs ~6Â° west of Saturn. Now that I was looking in the right spot, I could see it naked eye, but I wouldn't say it was easy even with my dark skies. If you have excellent visual acuity, that might be a different story.
Using the Astroscan at low power, Comet Lulin was a most impressive sight. It had a rounded head with a long, tapering tail that stretched over a degree in length. There was no sign of the elongated coma or anti-tail that was evident in previous observations. The coma had a brighter core and when I upped the magnification to 37x, a stellar pseudonucleus was visible with direct vision.
When I first began my observation, I noted that the coma formed the apex of a triangle with two stars--59 Leonis to the east and 56Y Leonis to the west. By the time I did the sketch an hour and twenty minutes later, Lulin had moved considerably to the west.
When I first began observing Lulin back in late December, I had to strain to locate a tiny faint smudge. This morning was a real payday.
C/2007 N3 (Lulin) 0500-0700 UT 25 Feb. 2009
S: 6/10 T: 5/6 Alt: 56Â°
m1= 5.3 DC= 7 Dia= 25' (Tail ~75')
Posted 25 February 2009 - 11:18 PM
Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:04 AM
I've been setup since 7:30 M.
I can see Saturn and Regulus by naked eye, barely 47 Leo.
I'd studied and identified 56, 58, 59, 63 and 65 Leo with a Planetarium program in my Palm, slowly ruling out known stars, using my binoculars. I found a binary with my 32mm but didn't take the time to try and id it because I want to find Lulin.
Then I take a break, jump on the site for some more clues and I see your drawing of exactly what I'm looking at but somehow I haven't seen it.
This is unreal.
Back at it by damn. Jiminy!
Tomorrow, I'm going to call a few eyeglass stores to see if I can get my money back on these defective eyeballs I was born with.
Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:51 AM
Posted 26 February 2009 - 05:10 AM
So I duly set up my p-mount & binos in a south-facing window, pulled up a chair, set my sketching stuff on the window cill, and sat down to wait.
Over the next hour and a half I was rewarded with 3 spells of pretty good clarity and 4 or 5 spells viewing through high thin clouds. Lulin was easy naked eye during the clarity (although it appeared stellar -- no coma visible), and I'd estimate its brightness at better than mag 5.
I was able to work on some of the brighter field stars even through the high clouds, although I never got enough clear spells to plot all the dimmer ones (I worked mostly on the comet itself during them). The time listed on the sketch is when I plotted the comet's position relative to the field stars. I was working on the sketch from about 23:20 to 0:10.
Posted 26 February 2009 - 06:07 AM
Lulin on Feb 26th, 2009, 06:00 UT (mid-exposure.) 39x90 sec @ ISO 1600, 200mm F/2.8, IDAS-LPS, Hutech Canon XS.
I had some pretty good views in binoculars, too, when it was really clear.
Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:46 AM
I think ive seen the last of my clear skies for
Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:24 PM
It sounds to me like your sky wasn't dark/transparent enough. I had a similar experience trying to find Lulin last week in less than ideal conditions. I was staring in the area it was supposed to be with my binoculars, and I couldn't see it. Eventually after I was fully dark adapted I finally saw it, but it was still invisible with direct vision. I pointed my 10" scope at it, and even then it was difficult to spot without using averted vision. Last night however was as clear as it gets here, and I picked it up no problem with my binoculars, I could even see the tail in the 10x50s. I'd even say it was bright when I pointed the scope at it. What a difference the sky condition makes!
Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:47 PM
Lulin was not visible to me naked eye, but a few seconds of sweeping with my 15x70 binoculars picked it up quickly. It was further west than I had anticipated (because I got the date mixed up!).
Through my little Bushnell at about 18x, it was relatively bright and well-defined. My total brightness estimate (based on the "rack a star out of focus" test) is up near 4.5, which is way brighter than most estimates I have seen. But it was noticeably brighter than the two 5th magnitude stars nearby were, when they were racked out of focus. If it were a point-source in a transparent sky, it would have been easily naked eye from my location. But with all the moisture in the air and its diffuse nature, I could not make it out naked-eye.
Tail seemed to me to be about 1.5 degrees. Definitely more than one degree long. It looked very much like half of an Andromeda Galaxy.
From a really dark sky and better transparency, this would should photgraph really well.
Posted 26 February 2009 - 02:41 PM
Posted 26 February 2009 - 03:05 PM
Did anyone observing Lulin last night, 2/25/09, see it pass very closely by a star of approximately equal magnitude? Time was between 2130 and 2000 hours EST.
Sort of. At 2200 hrs PST, from the west coast, the comet made the third point of a naked eye triangle with the stars 48 Leo and rho Leo. 48 Leo is mag 5.08. I'm sure that's what you saw. When I defocused 48 Leo to the size of the head of the comet the disc of the star was just marginally brighter than the head of the comet.
Here's the sketch I did at that time.
Posted 26 February 2009 - 03:21 PM
Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:11 AM
Lulin's tail was visible for about a degree or so in my LP conditions and I could see a bright, almost stellar core (could have been a star... not sure.) Was there an opposition effect? The tail appeared brighter in my binoculars than other times I've seen it, but with the clouds and LP, I couldn't be sure if it was what some were predicting. Oh, well...
Viewers in the UK on Friday night will see the comet directly south of Regulus and here in the states we'll get to see it just southwest of Regulus after the comet rises out the muck. I don't think it will be clear here at home, but I might get lucky again and catch it in the sucker holes between clouds.
Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:28 AM
Tonight should be another opportunity right next to Regulus, to try again.
Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:21 PM