Comet 46P/Wirtanen

16.12.2018

Comet 46P/Wirtanen near the Plejades, 16.12.2018, 39*30s 70-200mm lens at 200mm f/4, cropped, Nikon D750, ISO1600, Hoya Red Intensifier

On sundey 16th Decmber 2018 – the comet had its closest approach to Earth, it was only 11.7 million kilometers away, the 10th nearest comet in history. Nikon D750 with 70-200mm lens at 200mm f/4, 39x30s, Vixen Polarie.

15.12.2018

Comet 46P/Wirtanen, M45, NGC1499, 49*30ss 35mm f/1.8 lens at f/2.1, cropped, Nikon D7000a, ISO1600, Hoya Red Intensifier

14.12.2018

Even though the forecast promised clear skies, I had to deal with light snowfall and clouds…

Crop from the image above.

13.12.2018

Comet 46P/Wirtanen, 178x15s 35mm f/1.8 lens at f/2.8, cropped, Nikon D750, ISO1600
Comet 46P/Wirtanen, Plejades, Hyades and Geminid meteor, 15s 35mm f/1.8 lens at f/2.8, cropped, Nikon D750, ISO1600

12.12.2018

Comet 46P/Wirtanen, 84x30s Astro-Professional 80mm f/7 refractor, TSFLAT2, cropped, Nikon D750, ISO3200
Comet 46P/Wirtanen, 84x30s Astro-Professional 80mm f/7 refractor, TSFLAT2, cropped, Nikon D750, ISO3200

In the image above a picture of the moon was inserted to provide a sense of the size of the comet. The moon was photographed with the same telescope/camera combination on the same evening.

Comet 46P/Wirtanen, 44x30s 20mm f/1.8 lens at f/2.2, cropped, Nikon D7000a, ISO1600

11.12.2018

Comet 46P/Wirtanen, 31x15s (7min 45s) exposure, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF, cropped, Nikon D750, ISO3200.

In contradiction to the weather report, the sky was mostly cloudy today. A passing hole in the clouds allowed me to capture the comet again with the 300mm lens. 

Comet 46P/Wirtanen, 31x15s (7min 45s) exposure, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF, cropped, Nikon D750, ISO3200. desaturated, inverted, equalized

No tail is visible in the normally processed image, only after histogram equalization of the inverted, desaturated image, a faint tail can be seen to the left.

07.12.2018

Comet 46P/Wirtanen, Nikon AF-S 300mm PF at f/4, 63*15s, (15m 45s), Nikon D750, Vixen Polarie, stacked with average method.

Comet 46P/Wirtanen is a short-period comet of the Jupiter family, it orbits the sun on an elliptical path every 5.4 years. This time it reaches its closest point to the sun at the same time when it is very close to earth. Very close means ~10 million kilometers.

It is quaint faint, and even though it is visible with the naked eye, it is not a spectacular sight, even from dark skies.

The individual exposures contained many short satellite trails, as the comet was moving across the so called Clarke belt, the region of the sky where the geostationary satellites are located.

Today I got lucky with a hole in the clouds and was able to get some comet imaging done.

Comet 46P/Wirtanen, Nikon AF-S 300mm PF at f/4, 63*15s, (15m 45s), Nikon D750, Vixen Polarie, stacked with median method
Comet 46P/Wirtanen is faintly visible above a trio of stars. This image was taken with a Sony RX100 IV compact camera.
This entry was posted in comets.

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