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Mike Olason

Location of Photo:

Denver, Colorado

Date/Time of photo:

16 December 2018, 0300-1000UT


1" Refractor f/4 and ST-402ME CCD Camera


This Gif was created from images taken from 8PM December 15 to 3AM December 16 MST during the close approach to Earth of Comet 46P/Wirtanen as seen from Denver. The RGB images are one hour apart, each RGB image is 3 minutes long, limited by the fast movement of the comet and the equipment used so that the comet did not appear as a streak in any of the RGB images collected. The stars appear as red, green, blue dot streaks in each image due to the fast movement of the comet and stacking each red, green and blue image on the comet. 46P came within 7.2 million miles of Earth and during the 7 hours of time this Gif covers the comet moved 1.24 degrees across Denver's night sky. Thin clouds started moving across the sky during the last 2 hours of this Gif and resulted in the comet dimming in the last 2 images of the Gif. As one can see in the Gif when the German Equatorial Mount had to reposition from the east side of 180 degrees (south) to the west side of 180 degrees there was a hop in the stars centered around the comet, in other words the mount was not very well polar aligned, etc. The images in the Gif are not real sharp because the resolution of the equipment used was only 18 arc seconds per pixel. The Gif FOV is 2.67 by 2.3 degrees.


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