Comet 46P/Wirtanen slowly leaves the Earth: stunning image, video and podcast – 18 Dec. 2018

After its long-awaited flyby with the Earth, comet 46P/Wirtanen is now slowly moving away from both our planet and the Sun, but it will be a nice views for several weeks to come. Here they are a new image, video and podcast from our most recent live streaming.

Comet 46P/Wirtanen: 18 Dec. 2018

Comet 46P/Wirtanen: 18 Dec. 2018

NBversione in Italiano qui *

The image above comes from the average of eighteen, 150-seconds exposures, unfiltered, remotely collected with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at the Virtual Telescope Project. The robotic telescope tracked the apparent motion comet Wirtanen, so stars left trails on the background. The image scale is 1.2″/pixel.

A very bright Moon was high in the sky, affecting the visibility of the comet. Despite this, the sight was amazing. As always, we concentrated on the inner coma, where the nucleus is placed, carefully processing our images to assure the best vision. You can see our past images of the same object here.

We managed to make a time-lapse using 368 images collected back to back, covering 70 minutes, where comet Wirtanen is seen in motion across the stars. The “speed” of the video is about 170 times faster than the real motion of the comet.

On 18 Dec., we had a nice live streaming, under good skies conditions and we could show comet Wirtanen to thousands of people worldwide. Below is our podcast from that live feed.

We plan to follow comet 46P intensively and we will schedule another online streaming to show it to the community, so stay tuned!

NB: we have here a quick guide for you to observe comet Wirtanen personally!

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