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Monday, December 17, 2018


Comet 46P Wirtanen at its closest to Earth (16-17 December 2018)

My sketch of 46P tonight at 12:38 am ACDST from suburban Adelaide. Made with 10x50 binoculars. Atlas in the Pleiades is indicated. click to embiggenSimulation of 10x50 binoculars view of the same field at the same time in SkyMap. The location to the Pleaides is the big cluster at the bottom left. click to embiggen.

After days of cloud and rain I finally got to see 46P again tonight. Star hopping to the comet was much easier, once I had done a bit of dark adadption,  as the Pleiades made and obvious signpost, but even with the moonlight  comet 46P was readily see as a large fuzzy patch. Despite being closer and more bright it was not as obvious as the first time, due to the Moonlight, but still obvious. The justaposition of the comet and Pleaides was marvellous. Like last time, the sketch is a bit wobbly from trying to juggle sketch pad, binoculars and red light torch, but not too bad.

Trying to get some camera images now, hope the cloud stays away.

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