Welcome to my Southern Comets website.

Here you will find information, finder charts and images of Comets - past, present and future, plus other observations of interest.

This page was last updated on 02-Jan-2019

Information on the December 2018 to January 2019 Naked Eye Apparition of comet 46P Wirtanen

Members of the general public should read this important Guide to Observing Comets

46P Wirtanen finder charts

Northern Hemisphere charts for December-January.

USA West         USA East        UK Europe

Current Brightness of Present/Future comets from 35S latitude on 2019 January 1

46P Wirtanen
4th magnitude and fading. Northern hemisphere only (or northern Australia)
Peaked at magnitude 3.5-4 in mid December 2018.
Look out for potential meteors emanating from Piscies around January 4 (according to IMO forecast)
64P Swift-Gehrels
9th magnitude and fading (outburst on August 14). Northern evening sky. Brighter than expected.
38P Stephan-Oterma
9th magnitude and fading. North-Eastern morning sky
10th magnitude and fading. Southern circumpolar sky. Brighter than expected.
Peaked at magnitude 8.0 in June 2018.
C/2018 L2 ATLAS 10th magnitude and fading. Northern hemisphere only.
C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto
11th magnitude and brightening. Eastern morning sky.
May reach magnitude 7.5 in mid February.
12th magnitude and fading. Northern hemisphere only. Peaked at magnitude 10 in January 2018.
Frequent volatile outbursts of small amplitude. Comet appears "Blue" due to high CO+ content.
29P Schwassmann-Wachmann 12th magnitude outbursts. Eastern evening sky. 11th magnitude super-outburst in October.
12th magnitude and steady. Eastern morning sky.
iscovered on 2017 May 21 at a distance of 16 AU, almost a record for a comet discovery.
Currently at magnitude 17, implies a very large comet (absolute magnitude of 1)
Perihelion occurs in December 2022 at 1.8AU. It will be distant from the Earth and Sun, thus may only reach magnitude 5 and favour observers in the southern hemisphere.

Latest Images:

New comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto. 2019 January 1.
large aperture photometric V mag =11.5.
Will approach Earth to within 0.3AU during mid-February, brightening rapidly to magnitude 7.5 and well situated in evening skies (Leo,Cancer).

Below. Rendezvous of comet 46p Wirtanen with the Pleiades star cluster in Taurus on 2018 December 16.

Total Solar Eclipse photos from Casper Wyoming on 2017 August 21.


Was one of the highlights on the comet observing calendar.
2 comets C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS and C/2012 F6 Lemmon
were simultaneously visible to the unaided eye during the evenings of early March 2013

Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS page
Comet C/2012 F6 Lemmon page

What a privilege it is to observe a great comet. My tally is 4 since I began observing comets in 1986.
Click on links for additional photos and information.

C/1996 B2 Hyakutake (Great comet of 1996)
C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp (Great comet of 1997)
C/2006 P1 McNaught
(Great comet of 2007)
C/2011 W3 Lovejoy (Great comet of 2011)


Also visit my alternate website at http://www.yp-connect.net/~mmatti/
which consists of additional photos and observations of comets personally witnessed since 1996.

A history of my comet observations since 1986 can be downloaded here

Further comet information can be found at:
Comet Watch
Facebook group

Skyhound. A website for comet charts and information: http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/

Weekly comet information by Seiichi Yoshida http://www.aerith.net/comet/weekly/current.html
In my opinion the best website for comet information and light curve predictions.

Send comments to Michael Mattiazzo : mmatti at westnet dot com dot au