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Comet Lulin

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Rigil Kent
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« on: February 23, 2009, 17:48:14 PM »

Anyone seen this comet yet? Its close to Saturn in Leo. I'm going to have a look tonight, clouds permitting.

Mintaka
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bluegray
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 20:09:33 PM »

No I haven't, but will be looking out for it. More info at SpaceWeather.com:
COSMIC COINCIDENCE: What are the odds? On Tuesday morning, Feb. 24th, Saturn and Comet Lulin will converge in the constellation Leo only 2o apart. At the same time, Comet Lulin will be making its closest approach to Earth (38 million miles), while four of Saturn's moons transit the disk of the ringed planet. Oh, and the Moon will be New, providing dark skies for anyone who wishes to see the show. All you need now ... is a telescope.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009, 23:48:48 PM »

Yep she's there allright! Could just fit both the comet and Saturn in a 32mm eyepiece of a 4" F/5 refractor. Still rather faint though, but then again my skies are kaleidoscopic with light pollution Sad. Had to lug out a 12" dob for a reasonable view. The comet looks like a very large but a poorly resolved globular cluster at 38x. Slightly greenish. Worth staying up for!

Some more cool stuff here http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/35992534.html

Mintaka
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 08:23:26 AM by Mintaka, Reason: Added my sketch and sky and telescope link » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2009, 12:24:35 PM »

You can add Lulin to Stellarium by editing the ssystem.ini file in the Stellarium data directory. Just add the following to the end of the file.
Code:
[Lulin]
name = Lulin
parent = Sun
radius = 1000
oblateness = 0.0
halo = true
color = 1.0,1.0,1.0
tex_halo = star16×16.png
tex_map = nomap.png
coord_func = comet_orbit
orbit_TimeAtPericenter = 2454842.1414
orbit_PericenterDistance = 1.212289
orbit_Eccentricity = 0.999987
orbit_ArgOfPericenter = 136.8614
orbit_AscendingNode = 338.5353
orbit_Inclination = 178.3730
lighting = false
albedo = 1
sidereal_period =
Info is from this page: http://www.astronomylog.co.uk/2009/02/10/find-comet-lulin-in-stellarium/
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