Comet 46P/Wirtanen


There’s a new comet in town !! This great movie by @jamiecooperphotography shows comet 46P Wirtanen moving across the sky background (on a short loop). By the way, this object is going to come pretty close to the Earth – only 30 times as far away as the Moon. Well, on a cosmic scale that’s close. But no cause for alarm – it does this about every 5 years without causing problems ! It’s a short period comet. Wanna see it for real ? If you have access to dark skies there’s a fair chance in the next few days. I’ll show you how.

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This is from the Astronomy Now website – visit them at:

Tonight, right now in the UK, it’s still very low in the sky – and the Moon’s light is a nuisance ! But around midnight it should be high in the southern sky near the tiny cluster of stars known as the Pleiades. If the sky’s clear these are easy to spot – they look like a very small Big Dipper !! Then check this excellent map. Tonight the comet is lower down than the Pleiades. Moving up over the next few days. Good luck !

Comet 46P/Wirtanen - from Astonomy Now website

And in 3-D ! Comet 46P – a side by side stereo I made from photos by @jamiecooperphotography – visit his site !! He’s in @coopscamera on Twitter. This is a bit extreme – viewing at normal@size the comet is very ‘in your face’ – but you get the idea !! If you’re out looking for this comet, take binoculars – not a telescope – it’s too big for that – about twice the size of the Moon.

Comet 46P by Jamie Cooper