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Mike Olason



Location of Photo:

Denver, Colorado

Date/Time of photo:

5 December 2018, 0442UT


11" SCT f/6.4 and STF-8300M CCD Camera


Comet 46P/Wirtanen is 9.5 million miles from Earth in this image. This image shows the nucleus and the region around the nucleus of the comet, the coma and tail extend well beyond the Field of View of this image. 46P will reach perihelion in it's 5.44 year orbit on December 12 when it will be about 98 million miles from the Sun. 46P will make it's close approach to the Earth on the morning of December 16 when it will be about 7.2 million miles from the Earth and may reach magnitude 3. At close approach to Earth the comet will be high in the western night sky as seen from Denver, the Moon will set just after midnight. The comet will be 4 degrees southeast of the Pleiades Star Cluster just after midnight. If you are lucky enough to be away from city lights you should be able to see a small fuzzy comet with your eyes. A pair of binoculars should give everyone a nice view of the comet. Now all we need is clear skies!


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