List of Bright Comets

by Dominic Ford

Below is a list of the brightest few comets that are visible at present.

You are welcome to reproduce the text below for non-profit purposes, providing you credit In-The-Sky.org.

Comet name Mag Constellation Separation
from Sun
Trend Latest observation from
BAA Comet Section
Comet name Mag Constellation Separation
from Sun
Trend Latest observation from
BAA Comet Section
C/2016 U1 (NEOWISE)6.0Sagittarius12°
Fading
(peak at mag 5.6 on 13 Jan 2017)
1 Jan 2017
C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS)9.1Scorpius57°
Brightening
(peak at mag 4.4 on 4 May 2017)
1 Jan 2017
C/2015 V2 (Johnson)9.7Bootes92°
Brightening
(peak at mag 6.4 on 5 Jun 2017)
1 Jan 2017
45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova10.2Aquarius18°
Fading
(peak at mag 6.6 on 9 Feb 2017)
1 Jan 2017
2P/Encke10.9Pisces55°
Brightening
(peak at mag -3.5 on 10 Mar 2017)
1 Jan 2017
C/2014 S2 (PANSTARRS)12.6Virgo94°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.6 on 15 Feb 2017)
3 Aug 2016
C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)12.8Fornax88°
Brightening
1 Jan 2017
144P/Kushida12.8Virgo88°
Fading
1 Jan 2017
74P/Smirnova-Chernykh12.9Gemini166°
Fading
(peak at mag 12.9 on 14 Jan 2017)
29 Feb 2012
73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann13.0Scorpius53°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.0 on 8 Mar 2017)
2 Jan 2007
237P/LINEAR13.2Capricornus11°
Fading
1 Dec 2016
C/2011 KP36 (Spacewatch)13.4Cetus73°
Fading
1 Jan 2017
43P/Wolf-Harrington13.6Corvus99°
Fading
1 Jan 2017
65P/Gunn13.9Libra61°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.5 on 1 Jun 2017)
3 Nov 2010
71P/Clark14.0Virgo80°
Brightening
(peak at mag 10.2 on 13 Jun 2017)
2 Jan 2007
C/2013 X1 (PANSTARRS)14.1Lupus64°
Fading
3 Aug 2016
103P/Hartley14.3Aquarius17°
Brightening
(peak at mag 10.5 on 20 Apr 2017)
None available
C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)14.6Ophiuchus39°
Fading
1 Mar 2016
C/2013 US10 (Catalina)14.7Perseus116°
Fading
2 Jun 2016
93P/Lovas14.8Pisces62°
Brightening
(peak at mag 14.6 on 10 Feb 2017)
18 Nov 2007
81P/Wild14.8Sagittarius25°
Fading
3 Aug 2016
47P/Ashbrook-Jackson15.2Capricornus19°
Brightening
29 Feb 2012
56P/Slaughter-Burnham15.4Perseus127°
Fading
15 Nov 2016
128P/Shoemaker-Holt15.6Aries111°
Fading
None available
C/2014 W2 (PANSTARRS)15.7Ophiuchus43°
Fading
31 Aug 2016

The position of each comet is calculated from orbital elements published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), and is typically known with a high degree of confidence.

Where possible, magnitudes are estimated from observations sent into the BAA Comet Section, as compiled by Jonathan Shanklin. We avoid using the MPC's own magnitude estimates, since they are rarely updated. Nonetheless, comets are intrinsically unpredictable objects, and magnitude estimates must always be taken with a pinch of salt.

Click on the names of individual comets to display six-month ephemerides and finder charts.

Newark

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

40.74°N
74.17°W
EST

Color scheme