Comet Lulin whizzes past Saturn

Comet Lulin, Saturn and Leo dive into the Sun

Unless you’ve been hibernating all winter, you know that Comet Lulin
is on the move!

Comet Lulin is zooming past Saturn, and pending wind and clouds, and seeing and the typical weather gremlins we have round the world, we have a very good viewing and photo-op for recording this once in a lifetime sight.

So, get your camera batteries charged and your film loaded for this great opportunity.  Round up those memory cards too!

Or just get your binoculars and telescopes at the ready and watch the show.

It’s going to be splendiferous!

A finder chart is here:
http://www.spaceweather.com/images2009/24feb09/skymap_north_lulin2.gif?PHPSESSID=2lbh0fpr16cjlrmi13id2gpu31

Personally I like to shoot wide field shots of things like this so the surrounding star field is visible and you get the idea that space is BIG!

I use ISO 400 at f/4 and mount the camera on a tracking mount in order to keep the stars from making trails.

Star trails make a neat effect too if you don’t have a tracking mount.  Just let the exposure go for 15-20 minutes or so for an interesting photo.  YOu can go hours too if you like.  Sometime I let my shots go all night long!

The image above was a 4 minute shot.  It looks like everything is racing into the Sun, but the simple reality was there were clouds illuminated by the skyglow of Albuquerque zooming past while I was out shooting the comet and Saturn early this morning so the movement made this crazy effect.  It’s kinda cool don’t you think?  You can see all of Leo in this shot and as soon as I wake up again, I’ll figure out where Ceres is in the image and let y’all know.  Or be a super sleuth and find it yourself before I tell you where it is.

ISO 400  Nikon D70  on Losmandy mount

F/4.5

rinky dink 28mm lens

I also shot a lot of film, (you remember film) and should have that back this afternoon.

One last thing, the comet is the smeared turquoise colored star looking object on the left of the frame.