Saturday, February 21, 2009

Comet Lulin

This evening was "members night" a the Austin Astronomical Society, Canyon of Eagles observation site. After a windy evening, the weather settled down around midnight. About that time, Comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin) rose high enough to observe.

The comet was easily located in binoculars just below Beta-Libra which in turn was few degrees below Saturn. I was able to observe through our Orion 100ED refractor and a neighboring 12" Dobsonian. In the Dobsonian, I was clearly able to see both tails, one sharply defined (dust) and the other more diffuse and dim (ion).

I imaged the comet with a Celestron Onyx 80ED and a Canon 450 DSLR. I was able to get four 10min exposures at ISO 1600 between 00:53 and 01:35 CDT 2012.09.22. The telescope was guided on the core of the comet during each exposure. I manually stacked the images in PixInsights. Since the stars were already trailed in each frame, I just stacked as-is. In image, you can see pink color in dust tail and blue-grey tinge in ion tail with knotty texture.