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/2016 M1 (PANSTARRS)10.4Aquila91°
Brightening
(peak at mag 8.5 on 29 Jun 2018)
2 Apr 2018
C/2015 F5 (SWAN-Xingming)10.9Camelopardalis77°
Fading
(peak at mag 23.6 on 21 Jul 2018)
17 May 2015
C/2016 N6 (PANSTARRS)11.8Camelopardalis81°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.7 on 15 Apr 2018)
2 Apr 2018
C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)12.2Auriga51°
Fading
2 Apr 2018
74P/Smirnova-Chernykh12.6Leo138°
Fading
(peak at mag 12.4 on 11 Mar 2018)
29 Feb 2012
C/2015 O1 (PANSTARRS)12.8Draco112°
Fading
(peak at mag 12.7 on 31 Mar 2018)
2 Apr 2018
240P/NEAT13.1Aries21°
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.1 on 18 Apr 2018)
1 Mar 2018
C/2015 V2 (Johnson)13.7Phoenix56°
Fading
19 Oct 2017
185P/Petriew13.8Orion55°
Fading
2 Apr 2018
C/2017 T1 (Heinze)14.0Aquarius62°
Fading
1 Mar 2018
62P/Tsuchinshan14.1Virgo163°
Fading
1 Mar 2018
37P/Forbes14.1Capricornus75°
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.6 on 27 Jun 2018)
16 Oct 2099
C/2017 O1 (ASASSN)14.2Ursa Major85°
Fading
1 Mar 2018
C/2014 S2 (PANSTARRS)14.5Hydra150°
Fading
(peak at mag 14.4 on 19 Feb 2018)
3 Aug 2016
69P/Taylor14.9Cetus27°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.9 on 2 Dec 2018)
None available
65P/Gunn15.0Aquarius57°
Brightening
(peak at mag 14.4 on 16 Aug 2018)
1 Aug 2017
C/2015 VL62 (Lemmon-Yeung-PANSTARRS)15.3Sagittarius104°
Brightening
(peak at mag 15.2 on 9 May 2018)
19 Oct 2017
C/2016 N4 (MASTER)15.3Ursa Minor75°
Fading
2 Nov 2017
P/2013 CU129 (PANSTARRS)15.9Lynx94°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.4 on 10 Jul 2018)
1 Oct 2013
24P/Schaumasse16.0Ophiuchus135°
Fading
1 Mar 2018
C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)16.1Ophiuchus109°
Brightening
1 Mar 2016
47P/Ashbrook-Jackson16.2Aries26°
Fading
29 Feb 2012
21P/Giacobini-Zinner16.2Aquila92°
Brightening
(peak at mag 6.5 on 11 Sep 2018)
31 Jul 2005
C/2011 KP36 (Spacewatch)16.7Taurus32°
Fading
2 Feb 2017
59P/Kearns-Kwee16.9Aries
Brightening
31 Dec 2099

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
EDT

Color scheme