C/2007 N3 Lulin
Closest to Sun on 10 Jan 2009 at 1.21AU
Closest to Earth on 24 Feb 2009 at 0.41AU
Maximum magnitude 4.9 in Feb 2009
Comet Lulin was observable with the unaided eye from dark sky locations during mid to late Feb 09. It peaked at magnitude 5.0 and was well situated for viewing during evening hours. Since the comet was in the same orbital plane as the Earth, it was observable edge-on throughout the apparition and the dust tail appeared as a short, narrow spike-like appendage through binoculars and telescopes.
The comet could be found:
January 2009 in Libra. (morning sky), brightening from magnitude 7 to 6.
February 2009 in Libra, Virgo and Leo, magnitude 6 to 5.0.
March 2009 in Cancer and Gemini, fading from magnitude 5 to 8.
2009 Feb 25.50UT.
From Left to Right:
40x10 second exposures, Starlight Express MX7c imager + C11 at f/3.3.
Stacked on the comets nucleus. Larson Sekania filter processing to bring out detail in the dust jets emanating from the nucleus.
15x1 minute exposure. 135mm Hanimex lens at f8, MX7c CCD imager. FOV 2.5 degrees wide. south at top. The dust tail stretches 2 degrees.
5x2 minute exposures, Canon 300D digital camera, 300mm zoom lens.
2x3minute exposures, Canon 300D digital camera.90mm zoom lens, cropped image. ISO 800. Note Saturn in the field at far right. FOV 10 degrees wide.
2009 Feb 21.57UT.
Left: 15x1 minute exposure. 135mm Hanimex lens at f8, MX7c CCD imager. FOV 2.5 degrees wide. south at top. The ion tail is faintly visible to the lower left of the comet whilst the dust tail stretches 1.6 degrees to the top right of the image.
Right: 5 minute exposure, Canon 300D digital camera. 90mm zoom lens, cropped image. ISO 800. Note Beta and Eta Virginis in the field.
2009 Jan 24.75UT.
Left: 3 minute exposure, Canon 300D digital camera. 300mm zoom lens, cropped image. ISO 800.
Middle: 3x3 minutes, digital development processed to reveal coma and nucleus.
Right: 15x10 second exposures, Starlight Express MX7c imager + C11 at f/3.3.
Visual magnitude 6.7.