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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 Capricornus on February, 24 2018
High Precision Live Sky Chart
21h 10m 04s
-23° 00’ 14”
 = 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: 113.0°
Max altitude: 15.5°
Azimuth: 247.0°

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 Feb 17 22.45 20h 59m 50s -23° 34’ 00” Capricornus
2018 Feb 18 22.43 21h 01m 18s -23° 29’ 15” Capricornus
2018 Feb 19 22.42 21h 02m 45s -23° 24’ 29” Capricornus
2018 Feb 20 22.40 21h 04m 13s -23° 19’ 41” Capricornus
2018 Feb 21 22.38 21h 05m 40s -23° 14’ 52” Capricornus
2018 Feb 22 22.36 21h 07m 08s -23° 10’ 00” Capricornus
2018 Feb 23 22.35 21h 08m 35s -23° 05’ 08” Capricornus
2018 Feb 24 22.33 21h 10m 04s -23° 00’ 14” Capricornus
2018 Feb 25 22.31 21h 11m 30s -22° 55’ 18” Capricornus
2018 Feb 26 22.29 21h 12m 59s -22° 50’ 20” Capricornus
2018 Feb 27 22.27 21h 14m 26s -22° 45’ 20” Capricornus
2018 Feb 28 22.25 21h 15m 55s -22° 40’ 19” Capricornus
2018 Mar 01 22.24 21h 17m 22s -22° 35’ 17” Capricornus
2018 Mar 02 22.22 21h 18m 51s -22° 30’ 15” Capricornus

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.