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Craney

Comet 46P - Imaging prospects in next 2 weeks ??

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Evening all,    Anybody know what will happen to 46P over the next couple of weeks in terms of brightness ?  I read it has reached closest distance to Earth, but did not know if this coincides with maximum apparent magnitude in the sky.

I have a holiday coming up soon and would like to give it a better go with the scope with the Moon out of the way.

I'm guessing it is "inbound" to the Sun, so does that mean it might rise again from the Twilight on it's way out  and so (possibly) give us another display ??

Thanks in advance for any info.

Cheers,

Sean.

 

 

 

 

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Hi according to sky safari, it’s 8.8 today, 9.5 on the 26th and 10.2 on the 2nd. So gradually dimming.

I think it’s moving away from the sun. First screen shot is today, second is a month from now. Fast forwarding shows it moving away.

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9ADE0139-68DA-4DA5-AF29-018CCA795096.thumb.png.9c6b9c2acbda1ce8668756cc290bf025.png

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As far as I understand it, 46P has passed perihelion (12th Dec) and perigee (16th Dec) and is now on its way eventually heading back out to the more distant reaches of its orbit. It will still be visible over the coming weeks as it heads north east towards Ursa Major, but it will drop in apparent magnitude as it travels further away from us. It has been fairly subtle while only around 0.08AU from us, so it is likely to get pretty hard to see, especially visually, perhaps photographically it will be ‘easier’ to observe. The main scene of the 46P show has passed now, but it is still worth looking for. On 23rd Dec it makes a close pass by Capella (not literally, just through that area of sky!), that could be good, though the Moon will be a tad bright!

Good luck in your hunt for it!

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I just carried on looking at future dates out of curiosity, in mid April it’s got to Mars’s orbit. It’s very interesting following its path by setting the time interval to hourly when fast forwarding. First orbit the sun in Sky Safari, search for the comet, fast forward and you can watch the planets orbit the sun and the comet move away.

Edited by Scooot
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3 minutes ago, PhotoGav said:

@Scooot how do you get that view in Sky Safari? It’s really neat for seeing the comet’s course.

I think our posts crossed, see above

Edit, it also depends on the version of Sky Safari you have, I’m not sure you can do it with the basic version

Edited by Scooot
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1 minute ago, Scooot said:

I think our posts crossed, see above

Absolutely, I’ve just been playing with Sky safari as per your post and it’s excellent. I have the interval set to 1 day and it’s amazing watching all the different comets whizzing into the Sun and out again over the coming months and years!

What is really evident in that view is how close 46P came to Earth. Impressive. Thankfully not tooo close!!

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Yes I was looking at the daily but I was in 2020 in no time lol. I found it easier to follow what’s happening hourly. It’s really good to get a visual.

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15 minutes ago, PhotoGav said:

What is really evident in that view is how close 46P came to Earth. Impressive. Thankfully not tooo close!!

I hope Nasa’s Got Sky Safari so they can keep an eye out for us. :) 

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If you look at the V magnitudes here, in green.

http://wirtanen.astro.umd.edu/46P/46P_status.shtml

You can see it is peaking around 3.5.  The predicted curve suggests it will remain 'bright' for a few more weeks.  Should be OK for the next period of moon free dark nights.

Fingers crossed.

Paul  

Edited by clarkpm4242
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I think it ending peaking at around 4.5, shame the weather really hasn't behaved over the last couple of weeks around here anyway.

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Hasn't really behaved in Yorkshire either.  Got cloud affected images at my two attempts to snaffle it before the big bad Moon made an appearance.  Oh well..... I'm sure another one will appear again soon...

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