Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_globular_clusters_winners.thumb.jpg.13b743f39f721323cb5d76f07724c489.jpg

souls33k3r

Observing Comet 46P

Recommended Posts

Wow - my earlier pessimism seemed to reverse-jinx the weather 😀. It cleared up, initially very briefly but then for much longer. 

I didn't need the charts this time, just a sweep of the area revealed Wirtanen easily in my 7 x 50 binoculars and then a 80mm Skywatcher refractor. I'm currently photographing it, though I'm not sure how long it will remain clear. The comet's location will disappear behind a neighbour's wall shortly, anyway.

Regards, Mike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just popped out for a quick session with my 11x70 binoculars and found the comet quite easily as a fairly obvious circular patch of light, brighter towards the centre. Quite large as well.

Lovely night out there but chilly - I've been in the southern hemisphere for the best part of a month so I'm slowly getting used to the UK temps !.

Nice to see Orion the "right" way up (sorry aussies !) now. Even M78 was showing faintly in the binocs which is a sign of a good sky. M31 and 33 very clear and extended.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a look for 46P through ‘my’ 10” refractor and eventually found it, using coordinates from theskylive. The coordinates from Sky Safari weren’t quite right. It is indeed very diffuse and not much more than a faint fuzzy area at the moment. I’m happy to have seen it though and look forward to following its progress over the next few weeks. I have serious doubts about it becoming naked eye though...

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meant to add... I saw loads of meteors while out tonight, probably a dozen in total over an intermittent half hour period. Including one totally spectacular fireball that fell from around Cassiopeia down towards Lyra, exploding in fine style! That was at around 22:15 or thereabouts. They appeared to be radiating from Gemini, so early Geminids. Bodes well for their peak next week on 13th.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been pretty cloudy here on and off, just managed an image of it before it got too low.

Dave

1286593602_46Pcropped.png.42c371aab7761df07e830a7d19615f08.png

  • Like 6
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, PhotoGav said:

I had a look for 46P through ‘my’ 10” refractor and eventually found it, using coordinates from theskylive. The coordinates from Sky Safari weren’t quite right. It is indeed very diffuse and not much more than a faint fuzzy area at the moment. I’m happy to have seen it though and look forward to following its progress over the next few weeks. I have serious doubts about it becoming naked eye though...

Another 8 days to perihelion, and then perigee a couple of days later, though Gavin and it will be rising in the sky so less atmosphere.  Moon position won't help though 😞 

We'll see (and measure too 😉 )

Helen

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s obvious in the ED150 but very diffuse. No obvious tail though. The core shows a bit brighter. Sky Safari RA/DEC coordinates were spot on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw it last night through the 10x50s and 25x100s  in 6.4 NELM skies from various dark sites. What an amazing comet this is. Currently looks like a face-on galaxy with a small, bright core with a thick, fuzzy coma and much larger than you think.

It was also tricky trying to catch it through the clouds!

Fabulous meteor display and Moon/Venus conjunction in the morning - so glad to have been aware of it all as it was a great night.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Beulah said:

Saw it last night through the 10x50s and 25x100s  in 6.4 NELM skies from various dark sites. What an amazing comet this is. Currently looks like a face-on galaxy with a small, bright core with a thick, fuzzy coma and much larger than you think.

It was also tricky trying to catch it through the clouds!

Fabulous meteor display and Moon/Venus conjunction in the morning - so glad to have been aware of it all as it was a great night.

Sounds fantastic Sam.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried today but no success, with seeing not helping much. Both Stellarium and Heavens Above give the same location, which was easy to find with my Canon 10x30 IS binos. But I couldn't see the comet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw the comet last night. I have been checking Yoshida's comet chart. (comet@aerith.net) I've been waiting 2 weeks for clear skies. It was over by Acamar, (Eridanus n). So I grabbed my planisphere and star walked from Rigel. Sure enough. There it was. A fuzzy smudge in my 8x42 binos. 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very clear at the moment and easily viewed  in the 12x70 binos. Increased to the Apollo 15x70 binos - large and diffused - this could be quite good next week. Decided to have a better look so took out the Heritage 130P with 16mm ES68 - fantastic view.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

Very clear at the moment and easily viewed  in the 12x70 binos. Increased to the Apollo 15x70 binos - large and diffused - this could be quite good next week. Decided to have a better look so took out the Heritage 130P with 16mm ES68 - fantastic view.

Could you send some clear sky this way please cloud / drizzle here.

Dave :clouds2:

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just saw a lovely slow bright Geminid in clear patches, could be a good shower.

 

andrew

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 days in a row with my binos and no luck either. I'm 100% sure I have the right location. Hopefully it will get brighter next week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tonight is my first clear sky in ages, but 30-40mph wind gusts, so no chance imaging - well I tried but couldn't even get a focus V curve due to telescope shake, so I gave up on that and decided to look for comet 46P with my 15x70 binos instead.

First I added it to Stellarium to work out where it is, then star hopped from 2.5 mag Menkar ( α Cetus) down to 3.8 mag Azha ( η Eridanus) and back up to the line of 3 5th/6th mag stars ρ (Rho) 1,2 & 3 Eridanus and there is the big fuzz ball of comet 46P/Wirtanen. Despite being low down in the murk and locating Azha was very difficult naked eye, once I got that finding the 3 stars ρ (Rho) 1,2 & 3 Eridanus and the comet was very easy. As a very rough guide to locate Azha, I imagined a straightish line from M45 (Pleiades) through Menkar and about half as far again towars the horizon. Whilst not particularly bright Azha was the only naked eye star that I could see in that region, so once I'd found that I was good to go with the binos.

Good luck anyone else trying to finding it by star hoping tonight (7/12) - I hope the above helps.

Cheers, Geof

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The conditions tonight are not great, managed to catch Mars and Neptune earlier. With a slight haze and fast moving clouds, in 10x50s the comet was possible a bit brighter over a few days ago, even in the poorer seeing. In the telescope it's among a 9 mag. star so it looks like it has a very bright nucleus.

andrew

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Could some kind soul remind me how to get a new comet list into stellarium?

😞

 

Hi Neil,

Rather than me trying to post a workflow, please try the workflow in the below link from Farnham Astro, which is the method I use for adding comets one by one.

http://www.farnham-as.co.uk/2013/11/adding-comets-to-stellarium/

For 46P, use the online search tab and enter 46P/Wirtanen into the search bar. The search should return the comet, so then tick the checkbox and click the Add objects button.

I'm not sure if there is a way to add a full current list, but if there is then I'd also like to know.

Hope this helps.

Good luck, Geof

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, geoflewis said:

Hi Neil,

Rather than me trying to post a workflow, please try the workflow in the below link from Farnham Astro, which is the method I use for adding comets one by one.

http://www.farnham-as.co.uk/2013/11/adding-comets-to-stellarium/

For 46P, use the online search tab and enter 46P/Wirtanen into the search bar. The search should return the comet, so then tick the checkbox and click the Add objects button.

I'm not sure if there is a way to add a full current list, but if there is then I'd also like to know.

Hope this helps.

Good luck, Geof

Thanks, that's what I'd lost... but it says use the format P/46 not 46/P and whichever way round I use it doesn't find anything and just says 'unknown error' 😞

If I try and add the 'observable comet list', it doesn't find any new objects at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. I think the plugin is borked?

If I go to https://minorplanetcenter.net//iau/MPEph/MPEph.html

 and enter 46P it finds the comet.

Entering 46P, P/46P or C/46P into the plugin all return an error.

 

Sorted... It can't find 46P you have to enter P/wirtanen

Edited by Stub Mandrel
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Stub Mandrel said:

but it says use the format P/46 not 46/P

That caught me out too. I tried various combos of C/, P/, with/without 2018 none of which worked, but after Googling, decided that it's named 46P/Wirtanen, so tried that and it worked.... :thumbright:, so hopefully it will for you too 🤞

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to enter 46P/Wirtanen

46PWirtanen.JPG.1dd44e02e6aabbcc78a4bdc2d5fd1e90.JPG

Edited by geoflewis
added screenshot
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, geoflewis said:

You need to enter 46P/Wirtanen

or just P/wirtanen.

The prompt text in the plugin is quite confusing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Stub Mandrel said:

or just P/wirtanen.

The prompt text in the plugin is quite confusing.

Ok, I didn't know that just the P/Wirtanen worked, but glad you got it. I just added a screenshot to my earlier post

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.