Comet Lulin on February 27, 2009.

C/2007 N3 (Lulin)


Comet Lulin came into focus for amateur astronomers during Januay of 2009. At that time it was a faint comet but a special one in that it sported two tails. The two-tailed character of the comet was due to a matter of viewing perspective. As the comet moved from a position inside the earth's orbit to outside, the ion tail quickly swung around and appeared to merge with the dust tail. The comet grew in brightness and peaked just as it reached naked eye visibility for those with dark country skies.

This image of Comet Lulin was taken on February 27, 2009. This was three days after its closest approach to the Earth. By this date the two-tailed appearance of the comet had changed to that of a single tail. The vivid green coloration of the head is clearly seen and a faint tail dust tail streams off to the lower right of the image. While the comet could be easily seen in a finder scope, it never became a naked eye object at my location.



10/03/2011