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Comet Lulin (21 Feb 2009)

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#1 PhilH



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Posted 21 February 2009 - 06:29 AM

Hi folks,

Sorry it's been a while since I have posted here -- been busy writing a book and teaching two undergrad astronomy courses.

I just stepped out an hour ago to have another look at the comet through my 10x50 binoculars, and thought I'd post a digital sketch I made of the scene. The anti-tail was the most obvious that I have seen it, with a very clear projection extending perhaps one coma diameter in length.

Snow/rain coming here this evening, so this will have to last me a while, I'm afraid.

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#2 markseibold


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Posted 21 February 2009 - 02:51 PM


Very nice sketch with good references for adjacent stars in the field per the date. :bow: :bow: :bow:

I attempted to observe last night from the light polluted skies of Portland Oregon; not my dark skies in Troutdale at 25 miles out of downtown of thirty years. I could just make it out as naked eye with averted vision; easy in binoculars but in the 10" Newtonian, I could only see an elongated ethereal oval with a dim small central nucleus.

Thanks for posting as I might refer to transferring your star patterns to try a rough sketch if that is alright.


#3 Special Ed

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 07:19 PM


Nice sketch. :) Your field of view must be ~5° or 5.5° because the field you depict is the same I saw looking through my 12x36 IS binculars about two and a half hours earlier. Your coma size is quite accurate. The two bright stars near the left edge of the FOV are eta Vir and 13 Vir (separation ~20 arcmins) and I noticed that the coma would fit nicely between the two, just as you show. When I saw Lulin, it was to the left of its position in your drawing in amongst that triangle of stars.

Probably because of your LP you were unable to see the huge elongated envelope that surrounds the coma. I estimated it to be 30 arcmins by 90 arcmins on a SE/NW axis. Get to your dark site if you can before the Moon returns--you'll be glad . :cool:

#4 Tommy5



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Posted 21 February 2009 - 08:39 PM

Great sketch of this winter comet,glad you were able to get a break in the weather to view it.

#5 frank5817



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Posted 22 February 2009 - 12:27 AM


Good to see you back. Very nice sketch of Comet Lulin. :cool: :rainbow: I got a couple of brief looks at it last week but like Tommy5 above I am waiting for skies to clear and at least warm up close to freezing for a better more comfortable look. It seems when the moon does not interfere the clouds do.

Frank :)

#6 CarlosEH



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Posted 22 February 2009 - 05:57 AM


An excellent observation of Comet Lulin. Welcome back to the forum. I hope that your book and courses are going well.


#7 PhilH



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Posted 22 February 2009 - 07:40 AM

Thanks, everyone. Always fun to watch such a fast-moving interloper like Lulin. It makes you realize just how dynamic this universe of ours actually is.

The book and the classes (which you can see here and here) seem to take up most of my "free time," such as it is. That said, I will certainly try to pop by more often, since I am a great admirer of the talent gathered here!

#8 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 02:00 PM

Phil, wonderful work on the digital sketch. It's great to see that the dust tail revealed itself in the 10 x 50s.

#9 rodelaet



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Posted 23 February 2009 - 04:51 PM

Hello Phil!

Your fine sketch makes me eager to go look up the comet myself one of these days. :cool:
Thanks for sharing.

It's nice to have you back over here.

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