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Comet Lulin in Color

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#1 rolandlinda3

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 02:40 PM

This little comet was a delight to observe near midnight on Feb 23. It was a nice clear cold dry night, so the astro video camera worked nicely at a very modest setting (50% gain and a 14 second integration period) to get the primary tail and the color. The head was a ghostly white that yielded to a light green; the comet center was not round; faint reddish hue could be seen in the tail. I could not see the second tail.

These little gems always remind me of the brief nature normal life span, since their own lives are very limited in stellar terms. No wonder that David asks God (in one of the Psalms) to give him the sense to number is days carefully. Like comets, our lives are brief. It pays to consider just how brief they are.

Roland

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#2 JerryK

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 02:44 PM

Nice Sketch! I can't wait for clear skies to focus a telescope it Lulin! I grabbed a spotting scope for a look between cloud banks and it looked like a cross between a flying saucer and a globular cluster!

Jerry

#3 Andreas.V

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 03:33 PM

Wonderfull sketch! I've only seen the comet in a 8x10 binocular. Cant wait to see it throug my 10"

But a really beuatifull sketch!!

Andreas

#4 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 04:18 PM

Comets really are wonderful that way. Great sketch, and thanks for sharing that observation, Roland!

#5 varmint

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 07:45 PM

Beautiful work Roland. I'm assuming those are stars in the background and not particles from the comet... ;)

They give me the impression of particles being shed from the comet as it flies through space.

#6 JayinUT

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:17 PM

Roland,

I really enjoyed the sketch and your comments. Our lives truly are short like these objects. Great observation in several levels.

#7 rolandlinda3

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:23 PM

Yes, the dots are stars (not comet particles, which would be unobservable unless the comet literaly fell apart in big chunks). Glad to hear the comments.....remember that the color is due to the astro video assisting the image we sketch. You won't be able to see much color without some aperture. Big aperture is a double-sided coin: the more detail is usually coupled with less field of view. Roland

#8 Uwe Pilz

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:38 AM

Beautiful work.

#9 frank5817

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:46 AM

Roland,

Fantastic sketch. :rainbow: :bow:

Frank :)

#10 Special Ed

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 06:20 AM

Roland,

Very nice sketch--nice, subtle colors. Comets are an excellent target for the videocam. :)

Comets and people have a strong connection, I think. Perhaps it was a comet that brought water to the newly formed Earth. Comets like this one are brief visitors to the inner solar system, never to be seen again. Others, like Halley's Comet, return again and again with different generations looking up and marveling.

#11 rolandlinda3

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:47 AM

Thanks for all the comments. I recommend not observing this comet until it is high in the sky. I did take a look twice when low in the sky and the differences are pretty dramatic.

Thanks for the comment Michael......or perhaps they are created just like that...their water being systemic to their creation like water was systemic at earth's creation.

All observing...I would like to see a high magnification sketch of the center of the comet to see if you see the same shape I saw. Astro video blooms a bright spot a little bit so my sketch may have carried the same blooming, but it did appear to be non circular as I have shown.

Roland

#12 CarlosEH

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:56 AM

Roland,

A beautiful color observation of Comet Lulin. It must have been an impressive sight on the monitor. I will try to study the nucleus of the comet in detail as soon as possible.

Carlos

#13 rolandlinda3

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 11:03 AM

Must have caught you online, Carlos. Thanks. Let me know what you see. Have you been able to see any of the second tail? I have seen some classic photographs that get it, but I cannot see it (so far). Roland

#14 CarlosEH

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 11:06 AM

Roland,

I was able to view the anti-tail in my previous observation (posted). After opposition the anti-tail will be in the same direction as the ion (main) tail. I will let you know what I am able to observe.

Carlos

#15 Tom and Beth

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:41 PM

Thanks for all the comments. I recommend not observing this comet until it is high in the sky. I did take a look twice when low in the sky and the differences are pretty dramatic.

Thanks for the comment Michael......or perhaps they are created just like that...their water being systemic to their creation like water was systemic at earth's creation.

All observing...I would like to see a high magnification sketch of the center of the comet to see if you see the same shape I saw. Astro video blooms a bright spot a little bit so my sketch may have carried the same blooming, but it did appear to be non circular as I have shown.

Roland


I didn't sketch Lulin, but did observe it last night with my ten inch scope using up to 250-300 power. The Comet Nucleus is star-like and based on a few field stars about 10th Magnitude. There is a "hood" if you will, but at this time I can't remember it's exact shape. I was astounded by how fast the Comet is moving.

Thank you for your commentaries on these, BTW. Quite inspirational.

#16 FoxK

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 04:10 PM

Well done :)

#17 Tommy5

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 04:44 PM

Great sketch of this fast moving comet, i haven't been able to get a view of from my heavy lp skies, a high cloud layer obstructed the view last night. :bawling:

#18 markseibold

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 06:15 PM

Roland

Beautiful sketch! :bow: :bow: :bow: Amazing that you are seeing some red in the tail. It has been cloudy here for several days. I hope to observe Lulin tonight.

Thanks for posting as you sketch has inspired many of us!

Mark

#19 StarStuff1

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 12:46 PM

Very nice sketch, Roland. The ONLY time the clouds have allowed me to see Lulin was last Monday night, the same nght of your sketch. From 2200-2350 hours I used 15x70 binoculars and an 8-in f/6 newt. The scope was used with magnifications of 29X and 76X. I did not make a sketch but do remember the coma being much more enlongated than your sketch indicates. Maybe the camera captured that much more of the coma? I did see a tail about 1 1/2 degrees long. Even though the comet was not naked eye it was easily seen in 2.4x40 Russian opera glasses.

#20 rolandlinda3

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 07:24 PM

Appreciate your observations. I have not had a second good night to look at it either, and it is a moving/changing target. Perhaps when these next two lows clear the region we both might get to look at it again. I encourage you to make a couple notes next time and sketch from memory. Now that I have done this a couple times, it comes easier, and I have found that a memory sketch from notes works pretty well. I aim to try again in a couple days when the high builds in on the east coast.

Roland

#21 StarStuff1

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 04:40 PM

We imaged Lulin last night with the new MCHP at the observatory. The sky conditions were not great but good enough to see the coma was very spherical and not nearly as enlongated as a week ago. Wish I had taken a pic or made a sketch last week. Got a brand new digital camera that I haven't really learned how to use well. I do have pencils and paper and since I also have a degree in art...DUH!

#22 StarStuff1

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:10 AM

Last night at the observatory was a little clearer than the night before. Around 9pm we viewed Lulin in the 8-in S/C with a 26mm ep. Lotsa bright Moonlight and local lp so I wasn't expecting much. Lulin was faintly but definitely visible with a small coma. A lab assistant suggested using the I3. So he inserted it with no focal reducer or any kind of filtering. I was pleasantly surprised that the I3 enhanced the comet so much. The nucleus was much brighter and the coma was about twice the diameter as before. The best part: it was in color! (light green, of course)
;)

#23 rolandlinda3

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:41 AM

I am anxious for you to post a sketch.

Roland

#24 markseibold

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 11:09 AM

I am anxious for you to post a sketch.

Roland


I second Rolands wishes. Please do a sketch, even if only from memory.

Great art is waiting to be seen by all!
-Mark - 2009

My CN Sketch Gallery

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#25 StarStuff1

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 11:51 AM

Do you have to have a scanner to post a sketch? Suggestions?Guess I could try a digital photo of a sketch.






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