[AZ-Observing] Re: Glimpse of Lulin

  • From: Tom Polakis <tpolakis@xxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 13:18:30 -0500

Darrell Spencer wrote:

> minute past the background starfield.   I've never observed anything
> natural outside our atmosphere with such drastic apparent motion.

In 1983, I did almost zero observing thanks to college, but I did take a trip 
out to the farm land to see Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock at closest approach.  At 5 
million km, it was only one-tenth of the current distance to Comet Lulin.  If I 
remember correctly, it moved 45 degrees in a single night.  At 100x, it was not 
difficult to see the comet move "in real time" against the star field.

Regarding the orbital crossing event, I'd say that it has been occurring very 
gradually over the past month, since the inclination of Comet Lulin's orbit to 
the ecliptic is nearly nil.

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