Comet C/2007 N3, Lulin

   February 2009  


Comet Lulin

Should somebody say, comets seems always to be the same. The comet Lulin weakens this statement easily, because this cosmic snowball presents a new and strange apperance which was never seen before. Due to its orbit almost in the ecliptic layer together with the additional front sight from the earth two antipodal tails could be observed. The lower illustrations are pointing out the constellation between earth and comet.


By courtesy of BORIA TOSAR


In comparison the comet Machholz abandoned the side view in January 2005, and a 90° to 120° angle between the ions (tail) - and the dust tail (anti tail) could be seen.


A.Heidl, M.Rietze, T.Boeckel

 tb   ah      

Rapidly appears comet Lulin in a motion study with 40 x 90 seconds photos in a period of 65 minutes. The red end of the animation (upleft) was a surprise and probably caused by the red mercury lamps in the valley. Nevertheless we positioned ourselves on an altidude of 1600m far away from each larger city (15Km).


Center, Lulins galaxy slalom (MR)

Sum of 72 fig. A 50s with screen 2,5 Tele 200mm 1.8 Canon 40D power about 1 h exposure time, the background galaxies are completely nice for a Nichtastrooptik, but the tail is mega+lean…


Remarkably at this comet is the intensive turquoise colouring of the coma. This colour results from carbon and cyanogen ionized by the sunlight. The toxic Cyanogen gas spreading in the coma area is chemically related to the prussic acid. In the popular press Lulin the 'cosmic panic article' was entiteld promptly as the ‚The Green Poison Comet'. So far this comet passed without a danger to the earth in a minimum clearance of approximately 60 million kilometer. The estimated maximum brightness of  5.3 mag* was reached at the 23rd / 24th of February and will probably decrease fast again.


Upper left: 1:00-4.00 am, Nikon 300/480mm  f4, ASA 1600, 150sec, window 2.7x4.1°

At the comet machines, A.Heidl, M.Rietze, T.Boeckel (Aldino near Bolzano, Alto Aldige/Trentino 1600m)

At the 22nd of February a wide dust tail could be recognised (scroll down). Instead, at the 25th February the strong solar winds blewed the tail completely away




Bozen, Alto Aldige/Trentino 1700m, 1:00-4.00 am, -10C°, Nikon 300/480mm  f4, 150-180 sec, ASA 800-1600, window 2.7x4.1°

 Meteor and Comet


Right: Because no satellite stepped out from the earth shadow at this time, we have now the opinion that this light phenomenon has been a real big meteor (fire bolide), Tamron 35mm (dig), f3,5, 180 seconds, ASA 800


Landsberied, FFB;17.2.2009, 3:57 Uhr, -17C°, Nikon 300/480mm dig, f4, 120 sec, ASA 800

Extremely spacious lucency by reflecting local lighting at the new-fallen snow.

*mag  = > light magnitude: Up to mag +3-4 stars are visible nearby cities with the naked eye, in very dark areas the seeing limit can reach up to mag +6-7.

The more higher numerical value is given, the more weaker are the objects. E.g. - 4,7 mag, Venus glittering; - 1,0 Sirius, brightest star; +3,5 M31 Andromeda, pale shiny oval)

All comet observations from 2001 up to now ..

More Infos at      KOMETEN.INFO   

in deutsch


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 © 2009 photos und text by Th. Boeckel,  © 2009 photos M.Rietze und A.Heidl, last modification 10.3.2009

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