Although the ‘giant’ comet Wirtanen is high in the sky, and is visible throughout the night, it is not a spectacular sight. Its distance from the Earth is increasing and it’s fading day by day. However, it’s still visible, and fairly easy to photograph as a fuzzy glow, even from average UK skies. The comet, which is still very close to Earth by comet standards, is not a particularly large on in real terms, and has not developed a significant tail. It’s visible with binoculars, and is on a par with many of the deep-sky objects in the winter sky.
Where to look
The comet is high up in the east in the evenings. Use the bright star Capella as a guide to where to look using the map below.
Having found the right part of the sky, use the map below to pick out the exact position of the comet for the evening you are observing.
For more information about Comet Wirtanen, see our earlier news story.