This is my first close up photograph of a Comet also known as Comet Wirtanen, named after the astronomer Carl Wirtanen in 1948 who discovered it, This comet has an orbital period of 5.4 years which is very short and will be at its closest to earth on the 15th of December 2018 (11.68 million km). Comets are the leftover dust and debris from the formation of our solar system 4.5 billion years ago and they are mostly made of icy water and rock with many frozen gases like methane, ammonia and carbon dioxide.

They all originate from the Oort cloud which is way past the orbit of Pluto and get knocked around thus sometimes coming towards the sun. This comet has a small tail but as it comes closer to the Sun it will warm up and shed more material into space thus creating a longer tail. At some point in time comets used to be believed deliverers of bad omens to humanity as they were feared and misunderstood. We now know what they are and eagerly await them to present their beauty in our skies. Approximately 65 million years ago through the mass extinction of dinosaurs and most life forms was due to a massive comet hitting Earth. This comet is approximately 1.2 km in diameter, although not huge it can shed some devastation if it should ever one day collide in us.

Comet 46P/Wirtanen. Image Credit: Ronny Kaplanian

This image was taken when it was 20 million km away. travelling at approximately 10 km per second.