46P Wirtanen

DECEMBER 9, 2018  -   Observed first on December 9, 2018 at 9:55 PM CST from my house in suburban Lake St Louis MO.  Had a bit of difficulty finding in my 15x70s at first, but once I sat down the bino view was a bit steadier and the faint cloud was noticed.  In my 10x50s no condensation or color was noticed.  In the 15x70s sight condensation was noticed and color suspected.  Star hop was from reddish alpha Ceti (Menkar).





DECEMBER 10, 2018

Skies were very clear tonight and I anticipated a great view.  One club member at a darker sky site reported a naked-eye observation.  However, while the stars were shining brightly the comet appeared slightly dimmer to me tonight. A dim fuzz-ball.  Perhaps both his and my observation were affected by the brighter stars in tonight's FOV.  Kappa 1 Ceti appears right above the comet, while K2 is above-left. I also observed in 10x50s and 15x70s.  The views of the comet in both were similar.  The comet could be seen in both but not so well.  In 10x50s the comet was at the very eastern edge of the FOV while keeping alpha Cetus (Menkar) in the western edge of the FOV.  Observed from orange-yellow skies in suburban Lake St Louis MO.


DECEMBER 9, 2018  -   Observed also in my 25x100s on December 9, 2018 around 10:00PM CST.  Condensation was noted toward the middle, and a slight greenish color was present.  No tail was seen nor suspected.  Bright star at bottom of FOV is 94 Ceti (95 Ceti is left of it in the 10x50 FOV). Comet was not bright but estimated at mag 5 but appearing as mag 8.





DECEMBER 12, 2018

Skies were once again above normal and the views tonight were great!  I was not able to view 46P naked-eye from my suburban backyard deck in Lake St Louis, but it showed very well in my 10x50s and didn't give up much other than magnification vs my 15x70s and 25x100s.  Perihelion today.  Was notably bright in all binos (more so with aperture). Slightly greenish in color, somewhat condensed but no pseudo-nucleus was seen.  A comparison with my 25x100s vs the size of the Orion nebula showed 46P to be almost as large but not quite.  Brightest field star in the FOV below is Omicron Tauri at the 5 o'clock position.


Comments