The holidays are a great time of year for making memories with family and one of the best ways to make memories during the 2018 holiday season is by watching the Christmas Comet this Sunday, December 16, 2018 shortly after dark.
Unlike previous comets, this one should be visible to the naked eye but it won’t hurt to have a pair of binoculars or a telescope ready since this will only help you to see the comet more clearly.
Where To Look For The Christmas Comet
Even with its small stature 46P/Wirtanen’s (Christmas Comet) visible coma will extend near to a million kilometres and can be seen from Earth.
Astronomers have optimistically predicted that the comet might even be bright enough to see in an urban backyard, with an expected magnitudebetween 4 to 3. For reference, Ginan, the fifth-brightest star in the southern cross (the star just off centre) has a magnitude of 4.
This brightness, however, will be dispersed over an expected area three times the size of the full Moon at its closest point to Earth. Time to dust off your binoculars prior to Saturday’s flyby – these will be the perfect tool to observe 46P/Wirtanen.
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