Comet 46P/​Wirtanen

NGC 3077 in Ursa Major Astrophotography Martin Rusterholz

Comet 46P/​Wirtanen was dis­covered pho­to­graph­ic­ally on Janu­ary 17, 1948, by the Amer­ic­an astro­nomer Carl A. Wir­tan­en. The plate was exposed on Janu­ary 15 dur­ing a stel­lar prop­er motion sur­vey for the Lick Obser­vat­ory. Due to a lim­ited num­ber of ini­tial obser­va­tions, it took more than a year to recog­nize this object as a short-peri­od comet with a cur­rent orbit­al peri­od of 5.4 years. It belongs to the Jupiter fam­ily of comets, all of which have aphelia between 5 and 6 AU. Its dia­met­er is estim­ated at 1.2 kilometres.

[descrip­tion from wikipedia]

Details

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Author:
Taka­hashi FSQ-106EDX III
ASA DDM85
Apo­gee U16M
Astro­don Gen2
LRGB 60:18:18:18 min.
ROSA Remote Obser­vat­or­ies South­ern Alps
© Mar­tin Ruster­holz, Astrophotographer

About Me

Hello, my name is Martin Rusterholz. I’m a Swiss amateur astrophotographer living near Zurich, the biggest town in Switzerland. My interest in astronomy started when I was 16. At that time, I built my first Newtonian telescope and mount. I studied physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) which was the only study including at least some aspects of astronomy and astrophysics. “Looking at the nights sky is an experience touching everybody deeply inside, something common to all human beings independent to the language spoken by the individuals”. Deep-sky astrophotography is my passion.

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