Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3)

Finally got to view & picture this comet. Comet Lulin is a non-periodic comet which is currently passing close to Earth. Perigee was on Feb 24th 2009 as seen from Earth. Clouds have been a significant problem here in Snowdonia & it wasn’t until tonight that I could actually get a glimpse of this comet. With my astro imaging computer still out of action this one was down to old fashioned star maps & a visual search. Well worth while though, here’s an image that I took with the 5D MkII & 500mm lens:

Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3)   Click image for a larger view …

Without the computer I couldn’t do anything guided & really deep but I’m just pleased to have captured this image. Comet Lulin appears very green due to cyanogens & diatomic carbon that glow green in the light from our star, the sun.

Here’s the imaging details:

  • Camera:  Canon 5D MkII
  • Optics:  Canon 500mm f4 L
  • Aperture:  f4
  • ISO:  4000
  • Filter: None
  • Exposure 18.5mins  (13 subs)

Note that the apparent “2nd tail” that was viewed earlier in the Comet’s pass, is no longer visible.

Comet Lulin was only discovered in 2007 by Chinese astronomers. It will now start to head back away from us in to the cold dark depths of the outer solar system. There are however a good few weeks left during which the comet should put on a good show, so if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t give up hope. See the widefield image below for its current location.

Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3)   Click image for a larger view …

At the bottom of the image the bright object just above the tree line is Saturn, at the top right corner is Regulus in Leo. If you look carefully just above the rather obtrusive power lines & on the extreme right, you will see Comet Lulin. Over the next few days the comet will appear closer to Regulus & then go past it.

Good Luck with viewing it.


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