Comet 46p Wirtanen

obeygiant

macrumors 601
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Jan 14, 2002
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Come Dec. 16, the comet will be just over 7 million miles from Earth and should be visible to the naked eye, according to the University of Maryland Comet Wirtanen Observing Campaign. The campaign predicts excellent observation conditions and said the comet should be visible "most of the night around close approach" in the northern and southern hemispheres.

Though it measures just three-fourths of a mile across, the Christmas comet will put on quite a show this time around. As the National Space Centre in the United Kingdom explains: "When the comet is at its closest (and brightest) to Earth, it's also being vaporized by the Sun, shedding reflective dust and vapor that could make it even brighter."

"It will appear as a fuzzy point of light that moves across our winter night sky throughout the month of December. Nevertheless, if you're under a clear night sky away from city lights, you should be able to spot 46P/Wirtanen throughout December if you know where to look," the museum added.

46P will be the 10th-closest comet to Earth in modern times, according to UMD data, though rest assured that there is no chance that the comet could hit our planet.

Carl Wirtanen discovered 46P on Jan. 17, 1948, at the Lick Observatory in Mount Hamilton, California. The comet has an orbital period of approximately 5.5 years.​

Anyone looking for this besides me?
 
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obeygiant

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jan 14, 2002
4,037
3,867
totally cool
I have been trying to view it. Too much cloud cover in North Carolina. Have you spotted it yet?
No not yet. It was clear last night but I couldn't see it very well. Its supposed to be just up and left from the Pleiades.

I took this but I doesn't show much.

 

obeygiant

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jan 14, 2002
4,037
3,867
totally cool


This is the best I could get so far (which isn't that good) 46p is the fuzzy green dot in the lower left third.
 
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