Comet 46P/Wirtanen

Discussion in 'science, nature and environment' started by 2hats, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. 2hats


    Comet 46P/Wirtanen is arriving on our planetary doorstep and will approach to within about 11.5 million km of Earth on 16 December this month. It’s a small comet (nucleus maybe only around 1km) and will probably only get up to a diffuse magnitude +3 to +4 but would make for at least an interesting small ‘scope, binoculars or camera target in a decent dark sky (possibly noticeable naked eye object in really favourable conditions - angular extent comparable to the full moon). Apparently it is a quite distinctive green:
    (This image taken within the last 24 hours).


    Visible in northern skies all this month:

    More from Sky&Telescope.

    PS: 46P/Wirtanen was considered as a target option for Rosetta/Philae.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    Enviro, BigTom, Limejuice and 6 others like this.
  2. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    Cheers for the post. Love this stuff!
  3. farmerbarleymow

    farmerbarleymow Seagull + Chips = Happy Seagull

    I miss comets - I loved Hale-Boppe.
  4. Signal 11

    Signal 11 also programmed for conversational english

    I got a shot of it with just the camera tonight while doing Geminid meteor watch. It was fairly easy to see in 10x50 binoculars - just a blob with no colour though.


    (50mm lens, f/2.8, exposure 5 seconds at ISO 3200)
    de_dog and 2hats like this.
  5. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad heckling from the back!

    Although I got some of the brighter Geminids last night, unfortunately, my distance eyesight isn't up to this sort of skywatching now*. And it was bliddy cold outside at 23:00 or thereabouts, so I was only out for a few minutes. OH spent longer and reckoned an average spot rate of 1 per minute for the brighter ones.

    *I'll just "drool" over the various images, I'm still fascinated by the subject.

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