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46P/Wirtanen | by LaydeeDem
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46P/Wirtanen

Comet 46/P Wirtanen is now bright enough to be captured with just a camera on a tripod. I thought I might have sighted it visually with averted-vision however my glasses were foggy due to the cold so I'm not sure. 46/P is expected to get brighter within the following week, reaching perihelion on December 12th, and having it's closest approach to Earth on the 16th. The approach will bring it to within ~30 lunar distances of Earth and it's expected to reach a visual magnitude of ~3, making it the brightest comet of the year and visible to the naked eye. 46/P is the ghostly green fuzzy patch in the center of the image. The green color is due to strong emission by molecules ionized by the solar wind, primarily cyanogen (CN)2 and diatomic carbon (C2).

 

Gear used:

Camera - Canon EOS 350D

Lens - Canon EF-S 18-55mm

 

Acquisition Details:

8x30" sub exposures

ISO 1600

55mm focal length

f/5.6

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Uploaded on December 5, 2018