Comet Lulin 25.2.09: On 25 February 2009 Lulin stands in the constellation of Leo. The images were taken between 0:50 and 1:40 local time.
The anti-tail (ion tail), pointing away from the sun,  is split up in this image in several spikes, which could not been seen in previous images. The long dust tail, coming out of the coma of the comet, seems to have grown considerably in length.

In the night of 23.2.09 the comet , near its highest brightness, stood 2 degree south-southwest of Saturn. On 24.2.09 it reached its shortest distance to earth of about 61 mio Km and its highest brightness (mag 5). On 25.2.09 Lulin was in opposition to the sun. Within the next weeks it will leave quickly earth and sun to disappear in the vastness of outer space to probably never return.
Right now Lulin can very well be observed  with binoculars and small telescopes.



Object Comet Lulin 25.2.09
Category Sun, Moon, Planets
Designation C/2007 N3 (Lulin) 10f2
Constellation Leo
Optics TMB 130 f/6 with Field Flattener
Mount Astro-Physics 900 GTO
Camera SBIG STL 11000M with internal CFW 5
Exposure 5 x 2min each (1x1 bin) Astrodon True Balance LRGB filterset. Maxim DL for image aquisition
Calibration Dark frame
Guiding No
Processing Maxim DL5, Photoshop. Color code LRGB
Location-Date Somerset West, South Africa - 25 Feb 2009
Remark Composit from 1 LRGB frame (2min each) with 5 on comet aligned and stacked starfield-stripped LRGB frames
 
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