Comet Lulin:On 16 February 2009 at 1:25 local time Comet Lulin reached a position (RA 13deg 34´ 41´´, Dec -8deg 58´43´´) close to the bright star Spica in the constellation of Virgo. From 1:50 to 2:30 these images were taken.

In the night of 23.2.09 the comet will, near its highest brightness, stand 2 degree south-southwest of Saturn. On 24.2.09 it reaches its shortest distance to earth of about 61 mio Km and its highest brightness (mag 5). The comet is within the orbit of Mars and reaches on 25.2.09 opposition to the sun. Then it leaves quickly earth and sun and will never return.

Lulin can very well be observed right now with binoculars and small telescopes.

The image has been elected "Astrophoto of the week" by 

Object Comet Lulin 16.2.09
Category Sun, Moon, Planets
Designation C/2007 N3 (Lulin) 10f2
Constellation Virgo
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 - 16 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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