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Monday, 2 March 2009

Comet Lulin-my 21st well Observed Comet Since 1996...

So pleased-finally caught up with Comet Lulin on Saturday night from my back garden with my 20X100 big mounted Binoculars-a reasonably dry night with slight dampness falling and magnitude +3 to +4 stars could be seen with the naked eye-certainly not brilliantly clear although no Moon.
Looking toward the front part of the Constellation of Leo not far from Alpha Leo (Regulus) I found the Comet and it looked somewhat fuzzy in appearance and not as condensed as other Comas I have seen on other Comets-was actually quite Nebulous looking with possible jets spewing out material in front and being pushed away sharply from the Comets Nucleus to make a small tail like effect streaming away toward Regulus and Leo.
In my opinion its certainly not an odd or strangely exceptional Comet as everyone has said it is-it looks to me like several Comets I have seen over the past years other than its Antitail.
It was difficult to see and pick out the other tail (or Antitail) through my Binoculars but I'm sure it was there-could have been the material that I see spewing out in jets from the front of the Comet perhaps causing this Antitail-it was a fairly cold evening and the heat from my face and breath kept misting up the ocular lenses that I was looking through although I had thoroughly climatised my equipment in my garden shed all night as I thought I may have seen it the following Evening, all in all it was a good nights viewing and I got a good view of the Comet and if it is cloudy next week I don't think I'll be disappointed as for the good viewing window I got of it tonight-very pleased.
I would say the Comet is roughly around Magnitude 4 to 5 in brightness although its trend is to fade now over the coming weeks...
I think I'm averaging 2 well Observed Comets a year roughly-I hope that's good for an Amateur Comet watcher...

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