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Comet 46P/Wirtanen

Available Resources

Comet 46P/Wirtanen Sky Charts and Coordinates

This is a simplified sky chart, showing where Comet 46P/Wirtanen is now with respect to the brightest stars and constellations.

More advanced sky charts are available on TheSkyLive for this object: 1) the Online Planetarium which is interactive and allows to select dates and additional objects to visualize; and 2) the Live Position and Data Tracker which provides the highest precision position data and features deep sky imagery from the Digitized Sky Survey.

Comet 46P/Wirtanen in Cetus on June, 21 2018
High Precision Live Sky Chart
00h 00m 20s
-13° 36’ 07”
 = visible to the naked eye
 = binocular, brighter than 10th magnitude
= current altitude ≥ 30°   = current altitude < 30°   = below the horizon
Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet 46P/Wirtanen Rise and Set Times

Today's Comet 46P/Wirtanen rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]. All times are relative to the local timezone Europe/London.

Azimuth: 103.6°
Max altitude: 24.9°
Azimuth: 256.4°

Comet 46P/Wirtanen Orbit Diagram

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 46P/Wirtanen with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 46P/Wirtanen and the planets along their orbits in this diagram accurately represents the current configuration of the objects in the Solar System. This is an experimental feature and it requires a WebGL enabled browser. Please provide us feedback!

Orbit Diagram of Comet 46P/Wirtanen
View Comet 46P/Wirtanen in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 46P/Wirtanen Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 46P/Wirtanen computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 46P/Wirtanen in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date MagnitudeMag Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. Constellation
2018 Jun 14 18.67 23h 50m 26s -13° 54’ 30” Aquarius
2018 Jun 15 18.63 23h 51m 51s -13° 51’ 35” Aquarius
2018 Jun 16 18.58 23h 53m 17s -13° 48’ 47” Aquarius
2018 Jun 17 18.54 23h 54m 42s -13° 46’ 04” Aquarius
2018 Jun 18 18.49 23h 56m 07s -13° 43’ 26” Aquarius
2018 Jun 19 18.45 23h 57m 32s -13° 40’ 54” Cetus
2018 Jun 20 18.40 23h 58m 57s -13° 38’ 27” Cetus
2018 Jun 21 18.36 00h 00m 20s -13° 36’ 07” Cetus
2018 Jun 22 18.31 00h 01m 45s -13° 33’ 55” Cetus
2018 Jun 23 18.26 00h 03m 11s -13° 31’ 46” Cetus
2018 Jun 24 18.22 00h 04m 35s -13° 29’ 47” Cetus
2018 Jun 25 18.17 00h 05m 58s -13° 27’ 52” Cetus
2018 Jun 26 18.12 00h 07m 23s -13° 26’ 04” Cetus
2018 Jun 27 18.08 00h 08m 48s -13° 24’ 24” Cetus

Distance of Comet 46P/Wirtanen from Earth

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 46P/Wirtanen from Earth as a function of time. Distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with a 2 days interval.

The reported distances might be inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth. The value of the distance of 46P/Wirtanen is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Distance of Comet 46P/Wirtanen from Earth between January 2013 and December 2075

Light Curve of Comet 46P/Wirtanen

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Comet 46P/Wirtanen, according to the most recent ephemerides data. Magnitude data is sampled with a 2 days interval and there might be inaccuracies for objects changing brightness very rapidly during the course of a few days. For comets there could be large discrepancies between the observed and predicted brightness because of their highly dynamic behaviour.

Predicted magnitude of Comet 46P/Wirtanen between January 2013 and December 2075

Comet 46P/Wirtanen Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 46P/Wirtanen at epoch 05 April 2016 00:00 UTC (JD: 2457484.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.65869060
Orbit inclination i 11.75181551°
Perihelion distance q 1.05429686 AU
157,720,565 km
Aphelion distance Q 5.12365692 AU
766,488,168 km
Semi-major axis a 3.08897689 AU
462,104,366 km
Orbital period period 5.4300 years
1,982.9895 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2018-Dec-13 00:57:41
2,458,465.5401 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 356.36591055261°
Longitude of the ascending node node 82.165849297734°
Mean anomaly M 181.89798725801°
Mean motion n 0.18154408°/day
Closest approach to Earth* 2018-Dec-17
Distance of closest approach* 0.07819404 AU
11,697,662 km

* NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed for the time interval between 2013-Jan-01 and 2075-Dec-31, with a sampling interval of 1 day.