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Seeing comet 46P Wirtanen at its brightest from Australia

6 Dec 2018, 11:41 UTC
Seeing comet 46P Wirtanen at its brightest from Australia
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Location of Comet 46 P Wirtanen as seen looking north-east from Adelaide at 22:10 ACDST on Tuesday the 13th of December (90 minutes after sunset), when the comet is closest to the Sun. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). Click to embiggen.Location of Comet 46 P Wirtanen as seen looking north-east from Adelaide at 22:13 ACDST on Sunday the 16th of December (90 minutes after sunset), when the comet is closest to the Earth. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). Click to embiggen.Comet 46P is on track to be the brightest comet of this year. Currently magnitude 5.0, it is set to pass pass Earth at 0.0781 AU (~30 time the distance between the earth and Moon), this makes it the 10th closest comet to pass Earth in the modern era.It is still a bit uncertain how bright it will get but it should get to between magnitude 4 and possibly as bright as magnitude 3 (about as bright as gamma Crucis, the fifth brightest star in the Southern Cross).The comet will be brightest between December 13 to December 19. ...

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