The comet 46P/Wirtanen

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From Ashburn (click to change), 46P/Wirtanen is visible in the dawn sky, rising at 00:52 (EDT) – 5 hours and 2 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 32° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 04:36.

Name 46P/Wirtanen
Object Type Comet
Current Position
Magnitude:15.90 (V)[1]
Right Ascension:00h34m [1]
Declination:-13°23' [1]
Orbital Elements[1]
Semi-major axis:3.09 AU
Longitude ascending node:82.17°
Argument of perihelion:356.33°
Epoch of elements:06 July 2018
Mean Anomaly at epoch:331.16°
Derived quantities
Perihelion:1.06 AU
Aphelion:5.13 AU
Orbital period:5.43 years
13 Dec 2018  –  46P/Wirtanen at perihelion
16 Dec 2018  –  46P/Wirtanen reaches its brightest
Printable finder charts
Light-on-dark PNG image PDF document
Dark-on-light PNG image PDF document
Additional sources

Magnitudes estimates are derived from observations sent into the BAA Comet Section, as compiled by Jonathan Shanklin and last updated on 21 April 2008. We use these amateur observations in preference to the MPC's magnitude estimates, since they are updated much more often. Nonetheless, all comets are intrinsically unpredictable objects, and future magnitude estimates must always be taken with a pinch of salt.




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