The best time to view the comet and meteor shower is about 1 a.m. after the moon sets, Frost said.
The comet should be ahead of the constellations between Taurus and the Pleaiades.
A map from Sky & Telescope demonstrating Comet 64P/Wirtanen's path through the sky. The campaign predicts excellent observation conditions and said the comet should be visible "most of the night around close approach" in the northern and southern hemispheres.
Not only do they occasionally grace our skies and put on a lovely display (I vividly remember as a child seeing Comet Khohoutek back in 1973), but they are also left-over remnants from the creation of the solar system - primordial chunks of dirt and ice left untouched and floating around in space for the past 4.6 billion years. It was closest to the sun on December 12.
"Wirtanen's comet could easily be chosen again for another mission", says Lattis.
Right now, Australian National University astronomer Brad Tucker told Space.com, Wirtanen is "hanging out near the constellation Orion", which, luckily, is an easy find for even a beginning astronomer. "Nevertheless, if you're under a clear night sky away from city lights, you should be able to spot 46P/Wirtanen throughout December if you know where to look", the museum added. Look up with a pair of binoculars between twilight and sunrise. The streak below the comet was produced by a rocket body (upper stage) passing through the telescope's field of view during the exposure. "This is because the comet will be unusually large in angular size, as well as appearing very diffuse ... nearly ghostly". But the comet is an interesting object of study and helps astronomers better understand comets in general, especially those that are a part of the Jupiter family. That's what creates the glowing green cloud.
Those who are interested in seeing the comet this weekend are likely to get a better view using a telescope or binoculars. The comet is now well up in the southern sky around 10 p.m., but may be seen in the southeastern sky earlier in the evening. But launch delays forced new plans, and Rosetta's probe eventually landed on another comet in 2014 after a 10-year voyage.
In that time, the comet will have gradually moved towards the northern sky. "These are both important because they inform us what ices made up the building blocks of our solar system, and how they were altered by light and radiation from the Sun".
"This will be the closest comet Wirtanen has come to Earth for centuries and the closest it will come to Earth for centuries", said Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
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