Comet 46P/Wirtanen Position
Simplified sky chart showing where Comet 46P/Wirtanen is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars and constellations (see full screen Online Planetarium)
Higher precision deep sky finder chart showing where Comet 46P/Wirtanen is right now (view fullscreen)
Also check out Where is Comet 46P/Wirtanen?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 46P/Wirtanen in the sky and additional links to sky charts.
Comet 46P/Wirtanen Distance
The distance of Comet 46P/Wirtanen from Earth is currently 505,923,054 kilometers, equivalent to 3.381887 Astronomical Units. Light takes 28 minutes and 7.5777 seconds to travel from Comet 46P/Wirtanen and arrive to us.
The following chart shows the distance of Comet 46P/Wirtanen from Earth as a function of time. In the chart the distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with an interval of 1 day.
The value of the reported distance might be somewhat inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth. The value of the distance of 46P/Wirtanen from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.
Closest approach of Comet 46P/Wirtanen to Earth
Between January 2013 and December 2100 the closest approach of Comet 46P/Wirtanen to Earth happens on Mon Dec 17 2018 at a distance of 0.07750887 Astronomical Units, or 11,595,162 kilometers:
NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.
Comet 46P/Wirtanen brightness
The observed magnitude and coma diameter values are derived from the Comet Observers Database by averaging the values reported in recent observations (more recent than 4 days), when available. The Estimated Magnitude comes from the JPL Horizons ephemerides service and might be inaccurate given the highly dynamic and unpredictable behavior of comets. When available, please refer to the Observed Magnitude value and consider the Estimated Magnitude as a directional indication. We acknowledge with thanks the comet observations from the COBS Comet Observation Database contributed by observers worldwide and used in this table to report recent comet observations.
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.
Comet 46P/Wirtanen rise and set times
The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet 46P/Wirtanen touches the horizon, considering the effect of the atmospheric refraction. As the atmospheric conditions cannot be modeled precisely the times reported here should be considered correct with an approximation of few minutes.
Comet 46P/Wirtanen Orbital Elements
|Perihelion distance||q||1.05535576 AU
|Date of perihelion transit||Tp||2018-Dec-12 22:20:55
|Next perihelion transit||2024-May-21 12:15
|Argument of perihelion||peri||356.34109205166°|
|Longitude of the ascending node||node||82.157640011058°|
Visualization of Comet 46P/Wirtanen Orbit
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!
Comet 46P/Wirtanen 15 Days 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.
|2020 Mar 21||16h 01m 08s||-12° 45’ 11”||27.78||Libra|
|2020 Mar 22||16h 00m 52s||-12° 43’ 36”||27.78||Libra|
|2020 Mar 23||16h 00m 36s||-12° 41’ 57”||27.79||Libra|
|2020 Mar 24||16h 00m 19s||-12° 40’ 14”||27.79||Libra|
|2020 Mar 25||16h 00m 00s||-12° 38’ 30”||27.79||Libra|
|2020 Mar 26||15h 59m 39s||-12° 36’ 45”||27.79||Libra|
|2020 Mar 27||15h 59m 18s||-12° 34’ 56”||27.79||Libra|
|2020 Mar 28||15h 58m 56s||-12° 33’ 06”||27.79||Libra|
|2020 Mar 29||15h 58m 33s||-12° 31’ 13”||27.80||Libra|
|2020 Mar 30||15h 58m 09s||-12° 29’ 18”||27.80||Libra|
|2020 Mar 31||15h 57m 45s||-12° 27’ 21”||27.80||Libra|
|2020 Apr 01||15h 57m 19s||-12° 25’ 23”||27.80||Libra|
|2020 Apr 02||15h 56m 52s||-12° 23’ 22”||27.80||Libra|
|2020 Apr 03||15h 56m 22s||-12° 21’ 20”||27.81||Libra|