Set yourself a challenge to see Comet 46P/Wirtanen this month!
When to look: From 9pm in early December 2018 and before the first quarter Moon on the 15th. North east.
The early evening night sky in the first weeks of December are without too much moonlight. It’s perfect to try spotting Comet 46P/Wirtanen. In a pair of binoculars look for a small fuzzy ball. The comet will get brighter as the days go on. On the 17th it will be at its closest point to Earth and is estimated to become 3rd magnitude in brightness.
Some tools to help you locate Comet 46P/Wirtanen include the SkySafari app. Use the search function on SkySafari AR to search for 46P/Wirtanen. Press “centre” and the app will show you where the comet is from night to night. Use the stars around the Comet as a guide to try and find it. Or another great way to find it is to use Ian Musgrave’s Astroblog charts.
Something interesting: The comet appears as a green colour when imaged. However, when you see it through a telescope or binoculars it will appear white.
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There’s always something interesting happening in the night sky and country WA is the best place to catch all the action!