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Comet Lulin – The One That Got Away?

Take even a quick look at a handful of amateur astronomy websites and blogs and you’ll learn that Comet Lulin, with its striking green colour and exotically-detailed twin tails – is dazzling observers all around the world.

All over the world except in the UK that is…

I’m starting to think of Lulin as “the one that got away” because ever since the comet started to drift towards Saturn in the sky the UK has been smothered by a great billowy 20000 Tog quilt of cloud, that has refused to budge or even break up just a little to allow us a glimpse of Comet Lulin. I have tried setting my alarm for every hour on the hour for the past three nights – as the bags under my eyes will testify – and every time I’ve got up I’ve found the sky above Kendal was just a dome of dirty orange, streetlights reflecting off low cloud. It’s been so frustrating to see all the gorgeous images of it on Spaceweather.com’s Comet Lulin Gallery and to read all the breathless, giddy reports of its “glorious tail” and its “beautiful colour” but not be able to see a ****** thing…! 😦

Of course, this isn’t unusual for us here in Cumbria. When Comet McNaught was in our western sunset sky, preparing to streak south and dazzle all the southern hemisphere observers, it played a cruel game of hide and seek with clouds and rainstorms, and it took us quite a while to catch up with Comet Holmes when that had its famous “Outburst” last year. Now Lulin is putting on the performance of a decade up there in the sky and we’re missing it. So disappointing, so annoying, so AAARRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

The forecast for the next two nights is equally dire, with rain coming in from the NW and lingering. But, just in case it does clear – or if you’re in a part of the world with no cloud after sunset – here’s an updated finder chart for you. Note: the comet’s position is shown for 00.00hrs of that date. And, as ever, click on the image to bring up a full size version.



One Response

  1. […] of seeing this visitor in a small telescope or binoculars, to find it, use a finder chart such as this one at Cumbrian […]

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