Over the last few days, Comet 46P/Wirtanen has become naked eye visible in dark areas. For those of us, most humans, that live in less than dark areas, we still need some assistance.
As you can see, as of this writing (11/24/18) the Comet is approaching 5th magnitude. What does that mean? It means that folks outside the suburbs and denser areas should be able to see it. For those of us in the suburbs, we should be able to see it with a set of binoculars or a telescope. Harvard has a great chart here to give you an idea about what the scale is, and what astronomical object is about as bright as what magnitude.
The point is that this comet is now something to look at. Sadly for me, I loaned a friend my astronomy binoculars, and they broke them on me. Happily for me, the replacements came today. Sadly for me a storm is dropping an inch of rain or more on my home today, but as you can see from the chart above, the comet will only get brighter over the next few weeks.
Now when the comet peaks, it should be as bright as the stars of the big dipper, so if you can see that, you will be able to see this thing for a few days without even a set of binoculars. I have the equipment to see it and to image it, and intend to do both if possible.
Expect more posts on this comet as we get closer.