Comet 46P Wirtanen

46P/Wirtanen is a small short-period comet. The kilometer-sized dirty snowball orbits the Sun every 5.4 years, ranging as far out as Jupiter and as close in as the Earth. On the 16 December, Wirtanen passed within only 31 lunar distances to the Earth, the closest approach in 70 years.

I managed to get a visual of the comet from the mountain area of The Tengger Bromo Semeru National Park in East-Java,  in the early hours of 17th December (01:00-02:30 local time). Many media had prior to the passing of Wirtanen, reported that the Comet would easily be visible from Earth with the naked eye, however I barely could see to see it, tough I was in a area with low light pollution. With my eyes, It was seen as a fuzzy small green/blue colored dot next to the open star cluster Pleiades (M45). Managed to get some shots of Wirtanen with my Canon 6D and a 135mm lens. The best photo is based on 15 frames x 2 sec (135mm f.2.0, iso 10000).

Comet 46 P Wirtanen-Bromo Indonesia 2018 December
The green Comet Wirtanen next to the open star cluster Pleiades (M45). (17 December 2018)

 

 



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