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Comet Lulin C/2007 N3, March 16, 2009

Original drawing made using lead pencil on white paper:

Same drawing reversed:

Comet Lulin C/2007 N3, March 16, 2009, 2:10 - 2:25 UT, Clear skies with the limiting magnitude around 5.0, seeing 5 - 6 (fair - good).

TMB Optical 175mm f/8 refractor on a homemade Dobsonian-style mount. Magnification 35x - 47x, field of view approximately 2 degrees.

In mid March 2009 Comet Lulin C/2007 N3 was located in the constellation of Gemini. I noted when checking its position in SkyMap Pro version 9 that it would pass close to Eskimo Nebula, NGC 2392. So I set up the TMB 175mm to observe both of them as well as Saturn.

At 35x and 47x both the comet and Eskimo Nebula were visible in the same field of view, with the Eskimo Nebula visible below the tail of the comet. The coma of the comet had a light green color to it, while the Eskimo Nebula, NGC 2392, appeared light blue in color. The shape of the comet's coma, pseudo-nucleus, and tail reminded me of a Q-Tip. There were times when the pseudo-nucleus appeared to be double but most likely it was just a background star. The tail appeared striated.

At 47x the Eskimo Nebula appeared somewhat resolved and had a light blue color to it, with a star-like center to it and an outer shell. With averted vision the nose was visible. At 156x both the nose and mouth were visible, as was portions of the brighter inner shell.

On the same night I made this sketch of Comet Lulin and the Eskimo Nebula I made a sketch of Saturn as well.