46P/Wirtanen
ephemeris date magn radius delta ra dec elong phase PA
Today24 Sep 201812.11.466 AU0.530 AU01h50m-24°25'144.3°23.5°311°
Perihelion13 Dec 20184.91.055 AU0.080 AU03h31m+09°11'150.8°27.1°58°
Nearest approach17 Dec 20184.81.057 AU0.078 AU04h05m+23°56'159.0°19.5°87°
46P/Wirtanen - 2018-09-24
astro.vanbuitenen.nl


 
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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)                : 0.658543
            q (perihelion distance)         : 1.055362
            i (inclination)                 : 11.7454
            Ω (Longitude of ascending node) : 82.1656
            ω (Argument of perihelion)      : 356.3274
            L (Longitude of perihelion)     : 78.5697
            B (Latitude of perihelion)      : -0.7471
            T (Time of perihelion passage)  : 2458465.4272
            P (Orbital period in years)     : 5.43

            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 9.81 + 5 log[∆] + 22.28 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.





The following chart show the short-term path of the comet in a field of view that is optimized for (~10x50) binoculars and finderscopes.
A more printer-friendly versions of the same chart can be found further down this page as well.