Explore Comet Swan's path through the Sky

Explore Comet Swan’s path through the night sky in May 2020 using WWT (link below will start the tour):

Watch the tour online to see Comet Swan’s path through the sky as viewed from Huntsville, Alabama (specific yes, but with minor tweaking you can modify to suit your hometown).

Play around with the time scrubber located at the bottom left of the screen (at the bottom of the layer manager). Select the layer “Swan_from_HSV” and make sure “Time Series” is checked under “Time Scrubber” and then drag the slider to advance time. THis looks best without viewing from a specific location.

Alternatively, you can orient the screen to you preferred FOV (ie Eastern Sky of your local horizon at ~5 am) and advance time day by day using the View -> Observing Time pull down menu. Click the pin to break the menu out as a separate window, and advance day by day.

Let me know what you think and share your comet pictures with us for a chance to have them featured on our social media.

Swan was Hyperbolic and C/2020 F3 orbit is Elliptice
C/2020 F3 Entered SOHO FOV
Isn’t there an easier way to import comets in WWT as MPC format than input elements separately or Tail for comets!?


I’m not sure that I follow your question…

Comet Swan (C/2020 F8) Cannot be imported with the “Add Minor Planet” tool because it is hyperbolic, but elliptical comets can be added in that fashion and I was able to add “C/2020 F3” by typing it in just like that.

Just kidding, now I have to eat my words because Comet Swan is now just barely elliptical (instead of hyperbolic) so you can actually add it as well typing “C/2020 F8”

Thanks, now with more observation arc length it’s orbital period determined as about 4800 years
In previous days I couldn’t import them with “Add Minor planet>as Reference Frame” but now seems it’s possible.i know WWT has a database for asteroids but i can’t find it for Comets as we can Toggle Minor planets in Layer manager