Comet Wirtanen

17 Oct 2018

At http://spaceweather.com 16th October 2018, we hae news of an upcoming comet (Comet Wirtanen) which may provide us with a dramatic show in December. It is just 1km in width but is set to become a naked eye object for several weeks over the Christmas holidays.

   ... the image was taken by Yasushi Aoshima of Japan and it seems the comet has a green atmosphere (or coma). The green colour comes from diatonic carbon, a gaseous sustance common to comets. It is expected to brighten by 200 per cent by December - but the proof of the pudding will be in it happening. We've heard talk like that before - earlier in the year. Comet Wirtanen is actually a regular visitor to the inner solar system with an orbit that returnds ever 5.4 years.