ALP February 22, 2009 Comet C/2007 N3 Lulin Observation Report
by James Kevin Ty


After the conclusion of the National Astronomy Week 2009 Celebration with a free public stargazing session at Baywalk last February 21, some  members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP)  that include ALP President James Kevin Ty, ALP VP Jett Aguilar, Vincent Lao, Dennis Buenviaje and Andrew Ian Chan proceeded to PAGASA Observatory at UP-Diliman to try to observe and image the brightening Comet C/2007 N3 Lulin which was estimated to be around magnitude 6 that time.

James brought along his TV-101 refractor on GP-DX mount while Jett setup his Takahashi TSA-102 refractor on GP-DX mount; Andrew with his Skywatcher 80ED refractor on EQ-1 mount , Vincent with his Orion 4.5" Orion Starblast Newtonian reflector on EQ-1 mount.

ALPer Andrew Ian Chan was on bended knees because of the almost zenithal position of the comet and observing it through his Skywatcher 80ED refractor on EQ-1 mount.

ALPer Vincent Lao was all smiles as he was able to image the comet even with his point and shoot digicam afocally attached to his Orion 4.5" Starblast reflector on EQ-1 mount.

ALPer Dennis Buenviaje used a pair of 10x50 binoculars to observe the comet.

PAGASA astronomer Rueben Cunanan also used a pair of binoculars to observe the comet with ALPers.

ALP President James Kevin Ty, shown here ready to snap another exposure frame of the comet with his TV-101 refractor on GP-DX mount.

ALP VP Jett Aguilar was finally able to image the comet amid early problems encountered with his Takahashi TSA-102 refractor on GP-DX mount.

They arrived at the site at around 1:00 am.  Amid an  earlier stargazing session at Baywalk, they were still able to garner enough strength and persistence to try to locate the comet.  Vincent and Andrew were trying to locate the comet a day earlier at their place but weren't lucky enough to find it due to light pollution sky in their residences.  James told them although the sky at PAGASA observatory is not that dark as what they are accustomed in Caliraya, Laguna, he said that it is still dark enough for them to locate it there. And true enough, after around 30 minutes of locating the comet, they were able to find the comet!  James , Jett and Vincent hurriedly setup their cameras and tried to image the comet as the comet was situated almost at the zenith that time.  The comet was bright enough to be seen even with a pair of binoculars as well as through finderscopes.  They were also able to detect a faint tail that was about 1.0 deg long amid a light polluted sky . Jett got trouble again with his imaging setup earlier that morning and was already calling it a day but James still urged Jett to take his time and remedy the problem as it was still early and he abided.  After 30 minutes of fumbling his astro-imaging gears, he was all set to image the comet.  Although the sky was starting to brighten up a bit already, he was able to still image the comet!

At around 4:30am, they posed for a traditional group shop to end the session and quickly packed up their gears and head home with a happy feeling that they were able to locate and image the comet! :) LOL


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