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Friday, June 5, 2009

Comet of Taiwan!

photo source: Taipei Astronomical Museum

Cheers to the first comet of Taiwan! :)

Being a Taiwanese, you have to know this: Comet Lulin!
Comet Lulin was discovered by Taiwanese. You may think: “Okay… now I know that this comet was discovered by Taiwanese… so what?” If I tell you that this is the FIRST Taiwan’s comet and named by Taiwan’s observatory-- Lulin, you may be very excited!

* Course of Discovery
Comet Lulin was discovered on July, 11, 2007 by a Chi-Sheng Lin (Institute of Astronomy, National Central University, Taiwan) and Quanzhi Ye (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China). (It was a pity not Taiwan’s Sun Yat-Sen University! ) And the International Astronomical Union assigned the comet’s number to “C/2007 N3” and named by the observatory which discovered it—Lulin. Comet Lulin is the first comet that discovered by Taiwan. That is the reason why I want to introduce it.

# Why “C/2007 N3”?
You may come out this question.
“C” means "a non-periodic comet"
“2007” means “discovered in (year) 2007”
“N” means “discovered in early July”
“3”means “the third comet that discovered in early July”

You may ask further: Why “N” means “early July”?
The International Astronomical Union designed this named rule:
They use 26 English alphabets except “I” and ”Z” these two letters are similar to “1” and “2” to named the comets. Without “I” and “Z”, it only remains 24 letters. And then divide 12 months into 24 parts. Then, “A” means “early January”; “B” means “latter January”… and so forth.

picture source:http://c2007n3.astro.ncu.edu.tw/index.html

* Orbit Features
Comet Lulin is a comet with extremely long period and it is about twenty-eight million years. That means, if you missed this chance to take a look of this beautiful blue-green comet, you would not see again in your lifetime! And if you want to observe this comet right now, I have to tell you that you missed it… The best term to greet it was January to April, 2009.

* My Own Experience of Observing the Lulin Comet
February, 23, 2009, our association held an observation activity of Comet Lulin in our university. We set up a telescope outside the square and also took some photos of the comet. Honestly, though I really love astronomy, this was truly my first time to observe the comet. I was so excited that I couldn’t help but keep my eyes on the night sky. However, Comet Lulin was too dim to observe and, as you know, our school is located by the sea, so the mist was really heavy. And the mist could disturb the starlight and makes the observers difficult to see the stars. It was a little bit disappointed that we only saw a “tiny, foggy ball-shaped stuff” at the sight of the telescope. Though it was a frustration that did not see the “bright” comet, we also had a good time enjoyed the night sky constellations and photos of the comet. =)


Cindy.S said...

hey isabella,
this is actually my first time visiting ur blog. well, i hav to say it's really amazing. it looks so professional! no wonder u are the leader of the astronomy club!
remember the night we all went to escape 41 for watching the meteoric shower? it was a night i would never forget. anyways, i can always imagine how fun it is lying on the ground, looking above to the sky and observing the stars for whole night. hopefully ill hav a chance to do that again with u. xox

Ian said...

haven't come to your blog for a long time. it is really nice to see you here with all the amazing pictures and videos. i really learned alot form your blog.

Isabella said...

To Cindy.S:
Ha, actually I am not so professional as you think... I just love the stars and want to introduce those I love to all!=)
That night was really an amazing night. Every time when I told to my friends about that night, they were all so envied us that we have such a worful night!

Shirley said...

I think the pleasure in star-watching is the time when you lie on the ground with your friend! :]