Comet zooming by Earth will be visible Sunday night - SanTanValley.com

Comet zooming by Earth will be visible Sunday night

Comet zooming by Earth will be visible this weekend
Comet zooming by Earth will be visible Sunday night

If you look up into the night sky on Sunday, December 16, 2018, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Comet 46P/Wirtanen.

This comet, which was discovered in 1948 by Carl Wirtanen, an astronomer, will be about 7,199,427 miles away from Earth. That might seem extremely far away, but on a galactic scale, that’s pretty darn close. In fact, this comet is the 20th closest approach by a comet during the past 12 centuries, according to Space.com.

However, experts say it's not going to collide with Earth, so no need to worry.

The comet is already in our solar system but will be the brightest and most visible on Sunday, December 16, 2018. Some spots across the country will have a better chance at seeing it than others. The comet can best be seen by the naked eye if the skies are very dark, but for the best view, use binoculars or a telescope.

However, if you live in a highly-lit area, there’s another option, too. The Virtual Telescope Project will be live streaming the comet’s visit at 5 p.m. EST. Click here to watch it.

From San Tan Valley, it will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible at around 18:21 (MST) as the dusk sky fades, 34° above your eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 22:28, 78° above your southern horizon. It will continue to be observable until around 04:00, when it sinks to 17° above your western horizon.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS