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Home / Science / Christmas Comet in the immediate vicinity: How, when is the Comet 46P / Wirtanen to see?

Christmas Comet in the immediate vicinity: How, when is the Comet 46P / Wirtanen to see?



Skywatchers get the chance to see a passing comet in the night sky on December 16th.

46P / Wirtanen will be one of the Earth's ten closest cometary impulses for 70 years and you may even see it, according to NASA without a telescope.

The comet approaches Earth at a distance of 7.1 million kilometers or about 30 lunar distances from Earth.

"This will be the next comet that Wirtanen has come to Earth for centuries and the next will be available to Earth for centuries," said Paul Chodas, Manager of the Near-Earth Object Studies Center at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, California. In addition, Chodas said, "This could be one of the brightest comets in years, providing astronomers an important opportunity to study a comet with ground-based telescopes both visually and with radar up close."

Chodas said the brightness of comets is hard to predict, it is possible that they are visible with binoculars or with the naked eye in the form of a blurry blur of blue / gray light. The best place to see the comet is to look at the Taurus constellation.

Detailed information on viewing the comet can be found here.

The comet is named after the astronomer Carl Wirtanen, who discovered it in 1

948 at the Lick Observatory Mt. Hamilton in County Santa Clara, California. With a width of 0.7 miles 46P / Wirtanen orbits the s pretty fast for a comet – once every 5.4 years.


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