February 25, 2009

Comet Lulin

A new comet is in the neighborhood these days. Comet Lulin, visiting us for a short time from the way beyond. It’s not a super spectacular sight, but it is visible to the eye if you’re in a dark enough place. It looks like the green meanies are coming to visit. And I was able to get a few shots of it with my camera last night.

Comet Lulin

Comet Lulin

If you want to see it, you have to look this week because it’s headed away from us now, and it’s on the move very quickly. Probably by the end of the weekend you’ll need a telescope to see it at all. It’s grazing the constellation Leo, which rises in the east right at sunset and makes its way overhead by midnight. A couple of days ago it was very close to Saturn, but it’s moving further away each night. A good chart of where to look is here.

And since my equipment isn’t the best, here are some real photos of the comet taken by real astronomers. The comet is a bright green because the chemicals in the tail are fluorescing in the sunlight. It’s not just reflecting sunlight; it’s actually glowing green.

Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3)
Flickr user watchingthesky

c2007n3lulin2panel_brimacombe
APOD: Feb 7, 2009

lulin2_richins_big
APOD: Feb 25, 2009

Since I had things set up anyway, I also swung the camera around to the west, to catch Orion and other stars over the mountains.

Stars

Stars

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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