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 Aquarius on April, 23 2018
High Precision Live Sky Chart
22h 35m 17s
-17° 48’ 42”
 = 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: 107.8°
Max altitude: 20.7°
Azimuth: 252.2°

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 Apr 16 21.20 22h 25m 01s -18° 26’ 58” Aquarius
2018 Apr 17 21.17 22h 26m 30s -18° 21’ 29” Aquarius
2018 Apr 18 21.14 22h 27m 57s -18° 15’ 59” Aquarius
2018 Apr 19 21.12 22h 29m 26s -18° 10’ 31” Aquarius
2018 Apr 20 21.09 22h 30m 52s -18° 05’ 03” Aquarius
2018 Apr 21 21.06 22h 32m 21s -17° 59’ 35” Aquarius
2018 Apr 22 21.03 22h 33m 48s -17° 54’ 08” Aquarius
2018 Apr 23 21.01 22h 35m 17s -17° 48’ 42” Aquarius
2018 Apr 24 20.98 22h 36m 45s -17° 43’ 18” Aquarius
2018 Apr 25 20.95 22h 38m 12s -17° 37’ 54” Aquarius
2018 Apr 26 20.92 22h 39m 39s -17° 32’ 30” Aquarius
2018 Apr 27 20.89 22h 41m 08s -17° 27’ 09” Aquarius
2018 Apr 28 20.86 22h 42m 36s -17° 21’ 48” Aquarius
2018 Apr 29 20.84 22h 44m 03s -17° 16’ 28” Aquarius

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.