Comet Lulin Photo Gallery

Summary:  Following its close encounter with Earth on Feb. 24th, Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3) is moving away and slowly dimming. [full story] [ephemeris] [3D orbit] [finder charts: Jan.11-Feb.20, Feb.20-Mar.21]

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FIRST REPORTS OF NAKED-EYE VISIBILITY: Comet Lulin is now visible to the naked eye from dark-sky sites. "This morning, Feb 6th, I noticed a faint smudge above Zubenelgenubi," reports Jeff Barton from the Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus in West Texas. "I then trained my 9x63 binoculars on the fuzzy patch. Yep, nailed it! I was thrilled to finally bag Comet Lulin without optical aid."

Another naked-eye sighting report comes from Martin McKenna of Maghera, Northern Ireland: "I went out for a look at Comet Lulin this morning, Feb. 6th, before dawn with my telescope and binoculars. The Moon was very low, so I stood within the shadow of my house and tried to see the comet without optical aid. Using averted vision, I was able to glimpse the comet perhaps a dozen times! It looked like a large grey patch of light very close to Zubenelgenubi. The sight gave me a warm glow on such a frigid frosty night."

  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Gregg Ruppel,
Ellisville, MO
Feb. 6, 2009
#1, #2, #3, more

Comet Lulin passing just north of the bright star Zubenelgenubi (alpha2 Librae) on 2/6/09

Mike Broussard,
Maurice, Louisiana, USA
Feb. 6, 2009
#1, more

Comet Lulin on Feb 6th, 2009, 11:20 UT. I woke up at 4:30 am and started taking pictures soon afterward. It was a beautiful morning, very clear and not too cold. While the camera took the images, I got a view of the comet in binoculars. Wow, it was nice!

Photo details: 15 x 4 min @ ISO 1600, TV-85 at F/5.6, Hutech Canon XS, IDAS-LPS, Atlas EQ-G w/EQMOD.

Rolando Ligustri,
using a remotely-operated telescope in New Mexico
Feb. 6, 2009
#1, more

Photo details: apo 106/530 ccd STL11000 in bin 2x2 L=180s B=120s G-R=60s

Ugur Ikizler,
Kapanca - Mudanya - Bursa, Turkey
Feb. 6, 2009

Photo details: Canon Rebel XT - Hutech modified - Sigma APO DG 70-300 ( 300 mm )- f/ 5,6 - ISO 800 - 11 x 60 sec. - Home-made mount - ImagesPlus, Photoshop CS2

Chris Schur,
Payson, Arizona
Feb. 4, 2009
#1, more

This is actually a very challenging photographic object because it is moving fast against the background stars. Brillianat cyan in color this 6th magnitude object is currently within 5 degrees of orbital plane crossing and we can see an stubby anti tail on the left side of this image. Now for the interesting part as far as processing. Normally when you shoot a moving comet with a filtered CCD, your star trails are RGBRGB beads of light, when you stack the nucleus of the comet. Here, I tried a new technique to bring most of the color back to the stars, and not see the rather undesirable rainbow streaks. But how was this accomplished? You can read more on my web site...

more images: from Rob Stinson of Perth, Australia; from Bill Gucfa of Rehoboth, Massachusetts; from James Champagne of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; from Martin Wagner of Sonnenbuehl-Genkingen, Germany; from Guilherme Grassmann of Americana, São Paulo, Brasil; from Catalin M. Timosca of Turda, Romania;

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