Spot and follow the year’s brightest comet with Astronomy.com

Posted by Rich Talcott
on Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Comet LulinComet C/2007 N3 (Lulin) remains on track to be the brightest comet of the year. It should peak around 5th magnitude during the second half of February, when it will slide past Spica, Saturn, and Regulus. To track the comet from your location as it crosses the night sky, check out Astronomy.com's interactive star chart — StarDome.

To find and track Comet Lulin with StarDome:

  • On the lower right of the dome display, under "Options," click the Display... pull-down menu.
  • Select Comets from the Display... pull-down menu and make sure a check mark appears next to Comets
  • Click the Show names... pull-down menu
  • Select Comets from the Show names... pull-down menu
  • Under "Date and Time Settings," highlight the hour, and click the UP arrow repeatedly. Depending on your location, you should see "C/2007 N3 (Lulin)" written in a teal-colored font, enter the dome display at about 23:00 local time.
  • Adjust the dates to watch Lulin's path across the sky throughout the month.
  • To see Lulin in relation to Spica, Saturn, and Regulus, be sure Planets and Bright Stars are selected under the Show names... pull-down menu.
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