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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 Sagittarius on December, 12 2017
High Precision Live Sky Chart
19h 28m 22s
-27° 31’ 23”
 = 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: 117.5°
Max altitude: 11.0°
Azimuth: 242.5°

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
2017 Dec 05 23.31 19h 20m 03s -27° 46’ 40” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 06 23.30 19h 21m 12s -27° 44’ 35” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 07 23.30 19h 22m 23s -27° 42’ 28” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 08 23.29 19h 23m 34s -27° 40’ 18” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 09 23.28 19h 24m 46s -27° 38’ 08” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 10 23.27 19h 25m 57s -27° 35’ 54” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 11 23.27 19h 27m 10s -27° 33’ 39” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 12 23.26 19h 28m 22s -27° 31’ 23” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 13 23.25 19h 29m 35s -27° 29’ 03” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 14 23.24 19h 30m 47s -27° 26’ 42” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 15 23.24 19h 32m 02s -27° 24’ 19” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 16 23.23 19h 33m 15s -27° 21’ 52” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 17 23.22 19h 34m 31s -27° 19’ 24” Sagittarius
2017 Dec 18 23.21 19h 35m 45s -27° 16’ 54” Sagittarius

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 21 May 2014 00:00 UTC (JD: 2456799.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.65920256
Orbit inclination i 11.75713931°
Perihelion distance q 1.05226208 AU
157,416,168 km
Aphelion distance Q 5.12303130 AU
766,394,576 km
Semi-major axis a 3.08764669 AU
461,905,372 km
Orbital period period 5.4300 years
1,981.7088 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2013-Jul-09 08:51:36
2,456,482.8692 JD
Next perihelion transit 2018-Dec-12 01:52
2,458,464.5779 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 356.34020533633°
Longitude of the ascending node node 82.16439076917°
Mean anomaly M 57.519602148222°
Mean motion n 0.18166141°/day
Closest approach to Earth* 2018-Dec-17
Distance of closest approach* 0.07772006 AU
11,626,755 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.