On December 7, 2018, Comet 46P/Wirtanen became naked eye visible at Frosty Drew Observatory. The comet's coma (green atmosphere around the comet) has grown to the size of the Full Moon in the sky. We captured this image of Comet 46P on Friday, December 7, 2018 during our Stargazing Nights event at Frosty Drew Observatory. On Sunday, December 16, 2018, Comet Wirtanen will make the closest pass to Earth of any comet this century. This comet will be on display at Frosty Drew Observatory on Friday nights from now through January 2019. Image Credit: Scott MacNeill
Comet 46P/Wirtanen was the brightest comet of 2018. A short period comet, 46P orbits the Sun once every 5.4 years. In 2018, comet 46P made a fabulously close pass to Earth, the closest of the century! On December 12, 2018, 46P experienced perihelion (closest approach to the Sun), four days later, 46P made its closest approach to Earth at a distance of 7,190,000 miles. The comet became naked eye visible over Frosty Drew Observatory around December 7, 2018 and grew to the size of the Full Moon in the sky.
This is a collection of images we captured of Comet 46P/Wirtanen at Frosty Drew Observatory and by members of our astro-geekary.