Objects in your sky: 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/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)6.4Auriga120°
Fading
(peak at mag 5.0 on 12 Feb 2019)
4 Feb 2019
46P/Wirtanen11.0Ursa Major141°
Fading
4 Feb 2019
38P/Stephan-Oterma11.4Lynx136°
Fading
2 Jan 2019
C/2018 L2 (ATLAS)11.6Pegasus46°
Fading
4 Feb 2019
C/2016 M1 (PANSTARRS)12.0Reticulum75°
Fading
31 Oct 2018
69P/Taylor12.5Taurus82°
Fading
None available
C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)12.6Hercules100°
Brightening
4 Feb 2019
C/2018 N2 (ASASSN)13.2Cetus42°
Brightening
4 Feb 2019
C/2017 M4 (ATLAS)13.3Ophiuchus70°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.8 on 2 May 2019)
2 Oct 2018
C/2016 N6 (PANSTARRS)13.4Lepus105°
Fading
4 Feb 2019
74P/Smirnova-Chernykh13.5Libra94°
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.1 on 4 May 2019)
29 Feb 2012
123P/West-Hartley13.5Ursa Major152°
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.5 on 21 Feb 2019)
4 Feb 2019
60P/Tsuchinshan13.8Virgo153°
Fading
(peak at mag 13.4 on 15 Jan~2019 2019)
4 Feb 2019
64P/Swift-Gehrels13.9Taurus102°
Fading
2 Jan 2019
C/2015 O1 (PANSTARRS)14.3Ursa Major145°
Fading
(peak at mag 14.1 on 30 Dec 2018)
1 Dec 2018
C/2017 S3 (PANSTARRS)14.4Ursa Major118°
Fading
1 Dec 2018
240P/NEAT14.6Ursa Major146°
Fading
1 Mar 2018
C/2017 T2 (PANSTARRS)14.6Cetus70°
Brightening
4 Feb 2019
48P/Johnson14.9Cetus46°
Fading
31 Oct 2018
168P/Hergenrother14.9Sagittarius38°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.5 on 23 Aug 2019)
15 Jan 2013
59P/Kearns-Kwee15.4Gemini142°
Fading
31 Dec 2099
C/2014 S2 (PANSTARRS)15.5Centaurus117°
Brightening
(peak at mag 15.5 on 23 Feb 2019)
3 Aug 2016
21P/Giacobini-Zinner15.8Lepus111°
Fading
4 Feb 2019
C/2015 V2 (Johnson)16.0Sculptor47°
Fading
19 Oct 2017
65P/Gunn16.3Pisces27°
Fading
1 Aug 2017

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.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

Color scheme