Comets are especially fascinating in part because they are usually full of surprises with their rapidly and ever changing shapes. Comet Lulin does not fail in this regard displaying a very prominent anti-tail spiking south-east towards the Sun and a tail on the opposite side buffeted by solar winds. Lulin and its two tails span approximately four full moon widths in this 104x155 arc minute field of view and is a mere 0.42 AU from the Earth in this image. An AU or “astronomical unit” is the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Zavijava aka 5-Beta Virginis is the brightest star on the left.
Date Imaged :
February 22, 2009
Borg 77ED f/4.3
Astrodon L 5x1minute
Stardust Observatory, Baguio, Philippines