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Comet to light up the sky tonight

December 16, 2018 Science 0 Views Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed. The night sky will live this weekend when a green comet extends from the ground on the heel of Geminid Meteor Rain's display of green fireballs. Comet 46P / Wirtanen began to light in November, but it will do its closest approach to Earth on Sunday and be visible to the naked eye. The comet comes within 7 million miles from the earth &#821 1; a closeness that will not happen again for 20 years. It is 30 times the moon's distance from us. The comet will be brightest on December 16, as bright as the star in the constellation of Little Dipper's handle, according to NASA. But even now it is currently the brightest comet in the night sky and the brightest of 2018. It can be visible even to the naked eye. The University of Maryland's astronomical department said that Comet 46P will be the 10th closest comet since 1950, as few comets are ever bright enough to be seen with the naked eye. "Christmas Corn" appears in our sky once every five years when it circles around the sun. It was closest to the sun on December 12th. The comet is named for the man who first observed it in 1948, Carl Wirtanen, a leading observer assistant at California's Lick Observatory. "Look east with a small pair of binoculars or a telescope to…

The night sky will live this weekend when a green comet extends from the ground on the heel of Geminid Meteor Rain’s display of green fireballs.

Comet 46P / Wirtanen began to light in November, but it will do its closest approach to Earth on Sunday and be visible to the naked eye. The comet comes within 7 million miles from the earth &#821

1; a closeness that will not happen again for 20 years. It is 30 times the moon’s distance from us.

The comet will be brightest on December 16, as bright as the star in the constellation of Little Dipper’s handle, according to NASA. But even now it is currently the brightest comet in the night sky and the brightest of 2018. It can be visible even to the naked eye.

The University of Maryland’s astronomical department said that Comet 46P will be the 10th closest comet since 1950, as few comets are ever bright enough to be seen with the naked eye.

“Christmas Corn” appears in our sky once every five years when it circles around the sun. It was closest to the sun on December 12th. The comet is named for the man who first observed it in 1948, Carl Wirtanen, a leading observer assistant at California’s Lick Observatory.

“Look east with a small pair of binoculars or a telescope to see the green fuzzy comet. It will be close to Orion or the potty constellation,” said Brad Tucker, of the Australian National Research Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. 19659004] Much like looking at a meteor shower, you want to be in an area without much light pollution. Watch anytime between twilight and sunrise to get a glimpse.

Check TimeandDate.com to calculate the best time in your part of the world.

If you can not see it, the Virtual Telescope Project will stream observations from its robot telescope.

So why does the comedy look freaky or spooky? It’s three quarters of a mile left with a core that’s less than a mile wide, but the atmosphere around the comet, or coma, is larger than Jupiter. As it passes through the sun, this icy comet experiences essentially melting. That’s what makes it glow nde green cloud.

Coman diffuse nature can actually make it harder to see, especially when using binoculars or telescopes. The astronomers have predicted that the comet will have a magnitude of 4.2, meaning that a dark clear sky and a lack of ambient light are likely to be needed to see it.

And contrary to other comet observations, this comet’s tail will be behind it as it passes, which means we will probably not see it unless the tail develops a curve before its closest approach to the ground.

Comet 46P was originally elected by the European Space Agency to land the Rosetta probe on its surface, but the launch delays caused a new target to be chosen. (Rosetta continued to land on Comet 67P 2014.)

“The Wirtan comedy could easily be chosen again for another mission,” said Jim Lattis, director of the University of Wisconsin Astronomy Outreach Center, UW Space Place. “So it means watching this comet every time it approaches, can be important.”

Like the OSIRIS REx mission to study the asteroid Bennu, a remnant of the early solar system, the Comet 46P could provide similar insight. [19659004] “We look at things that were formed during the formation of the solar system and have long been in deep freeze,” says Lattis. “When these things come in and we get a chance to study them, we see some of the raw materials that earth and other planets and everything else formed.”

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