Monday, February 23, 2009

Observing Comet Lulin

Tomorrow Comet Lulin makes its closest approach to Earth and I have my alarm set for 5 tomorrow morning to try and get a glimpse of it. If you want to find where to look to find the comet then I can highly recommend downloading Stellarium, the best desktop skymap program I've found, by far. From this page, you can find the instructions on how to add Comet Lulin to the encyclopedia of objects in Stellarium. It's then very easy to find exactly where to locate it after you've input a few bits of data about your location.

Comet Lulin from the Nasa website:

Anyway, I'll be looking to get some photos tomorrow early morning and will post anything that is worth looking at. I stretched my camera and lens to their maxima last week by getting a photo of Venus in its half lit crescent state. While it's certainly not the greatest venus shot ever, it is nice to see what can be done without a telescope.


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toomanytribbles said...

i had completely forgotten about stellarium! i have it installed! gonna have a look now...

Luca said...

Interesting ... I'll see when I'll be able to see it from Western Mass.

By the way, it took me a while to stop reading Lunin instead of Lulin comet ^^'

Luca said...

John, if I remember correctly you too have a mac. How do you modify the file for Stellarium? I tried with text editor but it saved it in the wrong format.
Do you go with the terminal?

Jonathan Shock said...

I saved it in texteditor, which then gave a file extension of .txt. If you simply remove this extension and make sure the extension is the original, it should work, if not I can send you my edited version.


Luca said...

Thanks, Jon, after all I went straight with VI from the terminal.
It looks that Lulin will rise around 5pm on the East Coast ... I'll see if I'll be able to see it (I'm very bad on recognizing stars and other celestial objects ...)