Comet Lulin was a spectacular sight from my dark sky haunt at Sunset Crater National Monument. It was readily visible to the naked eye as a soft spot in Virgo, and was breathtaking through binoculars and telescope. The linear structure formed by the tails on both sides of the comet appeared very strong at first glance, like a softly glowing horizon with a subdued but lustrous sun rising in the middle. The dust tail was prominent while the ion tail required patience to appreciate.
Included are three sketches based on visual observations Feb 20, 2009, 10:00-11:30 UT: 1) A naked eye sketch; 2) A 15 x 70 binocular sketch; and 3) A 37.5X telescopic sketch using an 8 inch Dobsonian.
The photograph was taken with a Canon 300D, ISO 800, f/7.1, 105 mm, 10 minutes x 3 (star field and comet aligned separately and composited).