Skip to comments.Newfound Comet Lulin to Grace Night Skies
Posted on 02/06/2009 10:17:00 AM PST by The_Victor
During the next few weeks, a fine comet bright enough for observation in binoculars and possibly even with the naked eye will provide a fine skywatching target when weather permits.
Comet Lulin will be closest to Earth on Feb. 24 and will occur than and on surrounding nights. For sharp-eye viewers with dark, rural, skies, the comet is expected to be visible as a dim, fuzzy star.
People living in cities and suburbs are not expected to see the comet with the naked eye, but binoculars and telescopes will reveal its cloudy head and perhaps a striking tail, too. Comets are unpredictable, however, so it's impossible to say how bright this one might become.
This comet is the brightest since the surprising outburst of Comet Holmes more than 15 months ago and in the coming weeks will become favorably placed in the evening sky. During mid-to-late February it will probably be about magnitude 5 or 6, making it perhaps visible to the naked eye in dark, rural locations and easily observable in binoculars or small telescopes.
Brian Marsden of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory has calculated that Comet Lulin passed through the perihelion point of its orbit (its closest approach to the sun) on Jan. 10, 113 million miles (182 million kilometers) from the sun. However, while the comet is now receding from the sun, its distance from the Earth is decreasing, with a minimum of 38 million miles (61 million kilometers) on Feb. 24.
For this reason, the comet should be at its brightest during the last week of February; then it will fade fast by mid-March.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
I’m thinking this will be in the same general area as Jupiter, then? Might be quite a nice sight, until the Moon catches them up again.
2012 on hand.
Thanks ... I'll be looking.
Spellcheck is not always our friend.
'Taint mah fault.
Well, maybe there will be zombies. Zombies are cool.
And the 24th is a Tuesday! Hot fudge sundae, anyone?
Historically, comets were harbingers of disaster.
Any guesses what this one might be?
And hot chicks needing to be rescued....
zombies are always after the babes.
I believe this comet will be brightest and visible to the naked eye right before it hits us.
Thanks. I live semi-rural, so am looking forward to being able to see it pretty well, assuming it doesn’t cloud over again, of course.
“Daddy would have gotten us UZIs.”
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.