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 Post subject: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 5, 2018 10:02 am 
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Post here if/when/how you saw it....

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On Dec. 16th, Comet 46P/Wirtanen will approach Earth less than 11.5 million km away–making it one of the 10 closest-approaching comets of the Space Age.


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On the nights of closest approach, 46P/Wirtanen can be found in the constellation Taurus rising in the east at sunset and high in the sky at midnight. Sky watchers in the northern hemisphere may orient themselves using these sky maps: Dec. 5, Dec. 6, Dec. 7, Dec. 8, Dec. 9, Dec. 10, Dec. 11, Dec. 12, Dec. 13, Dec. 14, Dec. 15, Dec. 16

In the article there are links on each of the dates. Summation - look to the right of Orion and it will be faint.

http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=05&month=12&year=2018


Last edited by daisypusher on Dec 6, 2018 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 6, 2018 6:32 am 
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Neat stuff. We live in a valley. I may have to venture up the hill to see if I can get a view of this the next night or two while we have clear skies.

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 Post subject: Re: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 6, 2018 8:22 am 
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I almost went out at 3:00 to see if I could find the comet, but 12°F just was too cold for me. I would love to see my second comet. I'll try again, I hope...

Thanks for the heads up on this comet, daisypusher.


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 6, 2018 10:12 am 
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I tried with my binoculars. Next time I will check the star map for that night and try to identify the star(s) that is closest to the comet. To the right of Orion is too big an area when this comet is so faint.

Here is the archive link for the article to be able to check the maps: http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=05&month=12&year=2018


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 6, 2018 2:03 pm 
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Cloud cover will likely be an issue in the area until maybe Sunday night/early Monday morning, then good for a couple days per NOAA.

Here's the current pinpoint forecast graph near 73 and 285. You can scroll forward 2 days to see the sky cover % drop:

NOAA Pinpoint 73/285


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 7, 2018 7:57 am 
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This type of comet is best spotted out of the corner of your eye. Look in the general direction (binoculars or if we're lucky naked eye) but just stare ahead and try to be more aware of your peripheral vision. I'm not sure why this works but you're more likely to pick up the "fuzzy star" in your periphery, then you can try to focus in on the comet itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 9, 2018 10:41 am 
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The view will improve in the nights ahead. Comet 46P/Wirtanen is nearing Earth for one of the 10 closest Earth-comet encounters of the Space Age. At closest approach on Dec. 16th, the green comet will be nicely positioned in the constellation Taurus for easy viewing by observers in the northern hemisphere, and its brightness could be 3 to 10 times what it is now.


http://www.spaceweather.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 9, 2018 2:10 pm 
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VadersDad wrote:
This type of comet is best spotted out of the corner of your eye. Look in the general direction (binoculars or if we're lucky naked eye) but just stare ahead and try to be more aware of your peripheral vision. I'm not sure why this works but you're more likely to pick up the "fuzzy star" in your periphery, then you can try to focus in on the comet itself.

exactly - i did see it on dec 6th using excellent quality binocs (8x32 and 10x42) and it was definitely using averted vision (practice of seeing 'out of the corner of your eye')

dec 7th too cloudy
dec 8th too cold (looked for a few frozen seconds) & too lazy to dress properly :cold:


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 9, 2018 2:41 pm 
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here is another link to some cool info, pics, and a good map to help you find the comet

https://earthsky.org/space/46p-wirtanen ... e-dec-2018

if you follow dp's link and click on the actual date, you also get a good map of how to find


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 9, 2018 5:02 pm 
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wildGoose2 wrote:
here is another link to some cool info, pics, and a good map to help you find the comet

https://earthsky.org/space/46p-wirtanen ... e-dec-2018

if you follow dp's link and click on the actual date, you also get a good map of how to find


Thanks WG. Will be up early watching for this event.


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 Post subject: Re: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 11, 2018 10:55 am 
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Here is a link to another info page:
http://wirtanen.astro.umd.edu/46P/46P_status.shtml

If the Yashida scale this site shows is accurate (around magnitude 4), it may even be visible without optics this weekend. I found the figure from Nov 26 really interesting also.

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 Post subject: Re: Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Post Posted: Dec 12, 2018 6:14 pm 
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thanks! it's got good info and diagrams - ok, i liked the pics and movie best!

while it should be getting brighter as it rounds the sun, we also have the waxing moon to contend with.


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