The Solar System at your Fingertips
Comets » 

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 August, 16 2018
High Precision Live Sky Chart
01h 14m 59s
-15° 31’ 04”
17.16
 = 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: 105.5°
Max altitude: 23.0°
Azimuth: 254.5°

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 Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2018 Aug 09 01h 06m 24s -14° 40’ 08” 17.59 Cetus
2018 Aug 10 01h 07m 36s -14° 46’ 26” 17.53 Cetus
2018 Aug 11 01h 08m 49s -14° 52’ 59” 17.47 Cetus
2018 Aug 12 01h 10m 02s -14° 59’ 48” 17.41 Cetus
2018 Aug 13 01h 11m 15s -15° 06’ 52” 17.35 Cetus
2018 Aug 14 01h 12m 25s -15° 14’ 12” 17.29 Cetus
2018 Aug 15 01h 13m 36s -15° 21’ 48” 17.23 Cetus
2018 Aug 16 01h 14m 48s -15° 29’ 41” 17.17 Cetus
2018 Aug 17 01h 15m 56s -15° 37’ 50” 17.11 Cetus
2018 Aug 18 01h 17m 07s -15° 46’ 14” 17.05 Cetus
2018 Aug 19 01h 18m 15s -15° 54’ 55” 16.99 Cetus
2018 Aug 20 01h 19m 23s -16° 03’ 52” 16.93 Cetus
2018 Aug 21 01h 20m 30s -16° 13’ 06” 16.87 Cetus
2018 Aug 22 01h 21m 38s -16° 22’ 37” 16.81 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 13 September 2017 00:00 UTC (JD: 2458010.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.65848237
Orbit inclination i 11.74632087°
Perihelion distance q 1.05518270 AU
157,853,086 km
Aphelion distance Q 5.12419196 AU
766,568,208 km
Semi-major axis a 3.08968733 AU
462,210,647 km
Orbital period period 5.4300 years
1,983.6737 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2018-Dec-12 22:58:41
2,458,465.4574 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 356.34274971357°
Longitude of the ascending node node 82.167673784949°
Mean anomaly M 277.43366020543°
Mean motion n 0.18148146°/day
Closest approach to Earth* 2018-Dec-17
Distance of closest approach* 0.07751060 AU
11,595,421 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.