ephemeris date magn radius delta ra dec elong phase PA
Perihelion12 Dec 20185.71.055 AU0.080 AU03h31m+09°02'150.7°27.2°58°
Nearest approach16 Dec 20185.61.057 AU0.077 AU04h01m+22°17'158.4°20.1°83°
Today18 Jul 201919.32.603 AU2.900 AU12h08m+09°23'63.1°20.4°109°
46P/Wirtanen - 2019-07-18

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The interactive orbit chart above shows the comet's path through the solar system and its position at the given date. Green and blue lines are shown perpendicular to the ecliptic plane: Green if the path is above the ecliptic plane, blue if it is below. (Left-click and drag to rotate the view; Right-click and drag to move the view; Use scroll wheel to zoom in our out.)

The orbital elements of 46P/Wirtanen, as provided by the minor planet center, are:

            e (eccentricity)                : 0.6586780
            q (perihelion distance)         : 1.05538
            i (inclination)                 : 11.74500
            Ω (Longitude of ascending node) : 82.15270
            ω (Argument of perihelion)      : 356.35890
            L (Longitude of perihelion)     : 78.58763
            B (Latitude of perihelion)      : -0.74069
            T (Time of perihelion passage)  : 2458465.43930
            P (Orbital period in years)     : 5.44

            Family/Group:                   : Jupiter family

The lightcurve chart below shows the estimated development of the comet's magnitude. Blue and black dots are visual and photometric CCD observations respectively from COBS or the MPC Two lightcurves are shown: The gray curve is based on the absolute magnitide and slope parameter as provided by the minor planet center (14.00 + 5 log[∆] + 15.00 log[r]), whereas the red curve is being recalculated every 6 hours based on the available COBS/MPC observations (currently 10.77 + 5 log[∆] + 15.00 log[r]).

The all-sky chart below shows the path of of the comet over the same period as the lightcurve. The comet's current position is marked yellow.