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Christmas comet series on Earth this weekend



The night sky will come alive this weekend when a green comet roams the earth with green fireballs on the heels of the Geminid meteor shower.

The Comet 46P / Wirtanen began to lighten in November, but he will make it The closest approach to Earth on Sunday and be visible to the naked eye. The comet will be on Earth within 7 million miles – a proximity that will not be repeated for 20 years. That is 30 times the distance of the moon from us.

The University of Maryland's Department of Astronomy said comet 46P was the 10th closest comet since 1950, with few comets bright enough to be seen by the naked eye.

Griffith Observatory Sky Report report on Twitter has given information on Los Angeles' best sightseeing.

The "Christmas Comet" appears in our heaven every five years as it orbits the Sun. It was closest to the sun on December 12th. The comet was named after the man who first observed it in 1948, Carl Wirtanen, senior observation assistant at the Lick Observatory in Mount Hamilton, California, near San Jose.

Look east with a pair of binoculars or a telescope to see the green, blurred comet. It will be near the constellation of Orion or the pot, "said Brad Tucker of the Australian National University Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Similar to a meteor shower, you should be in an area without much light pollution. Watch between dusk and dawn at any time to catch a glimpse.

Check TimeandDate.com to find the best time in your part of the world.

If you can not display them The Virtual Telescope Project transmits observations from its robotic telescopes.

So why does the comet look fuzzy or ghostly? It's three quarters of a mile with a core that's less than a mile wide, but the atmosphere around the comet or Coma is bigger than Jupiter, but when it passes the sun, this icy comet essentially experiences some melt n shining cloud.

Due to the diffuse nature of the coma and its glow, the vision may be more difficult, especially if you use binoculars or a telescope. Astronomers have predicted that the comet will have a magnitude of 4.2, which means that most likely a dark, clear sky and a lack of ambient light are required to see it. If it passes, it means we most likely will see if the tail develops a curve before its closest approach to Earth.

The Comet 46P was originally selected by the European Space Agency to land the Rosetta probe on the surface. Start delays resulted in a new target being selected. (Rosetta landed on the Comet 67P in 2014)

"Wirtanen's comet could easily be selected for another mission," said Jim Lattis, director of the University of Wisconsin Astronomy Outreach Center, UW Space Place. "So, watching this comet each time it gets closer may be important."

Similar to the OSIRIS REx mission to study the asteroid Bennu, a remnant of the early solar system, Comet 46P provide similar findings. [19659002] "We get a look at things that were created during the formation of the solar system and have been in the freezer since then," said Lattis. "When these things happen and we have a chance to study them, we see some of the raw materials that make up the Earth and the other planets and everything else."


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