Comet C/2007 N3 Lulin


Introduction

A first approach comet, meaning that this was more than likely to be the first time that this comet had ever approached the inner solar system. As such, there is always a degree of uncertainty as to how it will behave under the heating influence of the Sun, and consequently how bright it might get.

In the event it reached magnitude 5 at the end of February, putting it just within naked eye visibility from a reasonably dark site, but it coincided with a run of cloudy weather in the southern UK so I had few opportunities to see it, and even fewer to photograph it.

I therefore rely on a couple of friends to provide pictures, Mike Mattiazzo in Castlemaine, Australia and Chris Baddiley in the English Midlands.


24 January 2009

Comet Lulin on 24 Jan 2009

Comet C2007 N3 Lulin on 24 Jan 2009.

There's a faint tail to the right (east) and an even fainter suggestion of one to the left. At this point the comet is being seen head on as it lies opposite the Sun in the sky, so the spread of dust and gas appears to both left and right of the central coma.

Please see Michael's own website for more Lulin pictures - at the time of writing in transition between and old and new site.

 


27 February 2009

A fine view obtained by Chris on the evening of 27th February from Kempsey, near Worcester.

Comet C2007 N3 Lulin on 27 Feb 2009

Comet C2007 N3 Lulin on 27 Feb 2009.

Canon DA 1 min @ f/2.8 , 300mm Canon L lens.

Notice how this time the tail is definitely on the left, because taken from the northern hemisphere this pictures is upside down compared Michael's one from Australia.

I also obtained my best view on the same evening, from near Ross-on-Wye in nearby Herefordshire. I struggled to see Lulin with the naked eye, but it was possible with averted vision with the comet at around magnitude 5. However, it was well revealed in binoculars within the sickle of Leo, as a fuzzy coma with a suggestion of an easterly pointing tail.

 


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