Comet 46p/Wirtanen

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Comet 46p/Wirtanen

Postby Graeme1858 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:12 pm

I was just checking out what to have a look at tonight and came across this:

http://www.cometwatch.co.uk/comet-46p-wirtanen/

It's a bit difficult to see at the moment being very low in the south and heading south. But at the beginning of November it turns to head north and on 16th December, at closest approach, it increases in magnitude to an estimated nice bright 3 when it will be nestled on the ecliptic between the Hyades and the Pleiades.

Definitely worth keeping an eye on.
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Re: Comet 46p/Wirtanen

Postby Aratus » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:22 pm

No good at the moment, as you say. It is bearly above the horizon, and very dim, but it will hang around the horizon until the beginning in December when it will climb very rapidly, and brighten. By the middle of that month it will be visible as it gets dark sailing through Taurus. I am sceptical that it will reach naked eye visibility, but it is being reported as being brighter than expected - at the moment. What it does later on is another matter. It should be a fine sight in binoculars anyway, into the New Year, and who know perhaps it will stay bright. . . :o
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: Comet 46p/Wirtanen

Postby Graeme1858 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:59 am

A bright star in the east at Christmas! The media is going to love it!
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Celestron CGX 9.25 SCT
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Posts: 142
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Location: Kent, UK, 51°22’N 0°32’E

Re: Comet 46p/Wirtanen

Postby Aratus » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:06 pm

The latest brightness figures now do indeed suggest a magnitude 3 or 4 object by the 3rd week of December. Perhaps even a sceptic like me might start to get excited! :shock:

I would say it was worth taking a look from 27th November. 10 degrees above the southern horizon at 2000 UT. The moon having not yet risen. Better on 28th Nov when 14 degrees above the horizon at 2145. It gets better from then on. When the comet is at its brightest, around 19th December, the moon will spoil it, but it should look great a few days earlier on the 16th, right next to the Pleiades, especially later on in the night after the moon has set.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
Aratus
 
Posts: 834
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: East Lincolnshire


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