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Keywords:

  • methods: observational;
  • techniques: photometric;
  • comets: general;
  • comets: individual: comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin)

ABSTRACT

Observations of comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin) were made at phase angles close to opposition (inline image). Photometric observations were carried out during 2009 February 24–28, in the International Halley Watch (IHW) blue and red continuum and R broad-band using a photopolarimeter mounted on the 1.2-m telescope at Mount Abu Infrared Observatory. In all the bands, a significant linear increase in brightness with decreasing phase angle is detected for the above phase angle range. The phase coefficient [β= 0.040 ± 0.001 mag deg−1 estimated in the IHW red (6840 Å) filter band] is found to be independent of wavelength. No non-linear opposition surge is observed for phase angle inline image. The linear increase in brightness with decreasing phase angle in the range mentioned earlier can be explained using the shadow hiding model. The colour of the comet is found to be similar to the solar colour, indicating the dominance of grains larger than 0.1 μm. A dip in the brightness of about 0.20 mag is seen at the phase angle inline image.