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)8.8Corona Australis163°
Brightening
(peak at mag 8.7 on 29 Jun 2018)
1 Jun 2018
37P/Forbes11.1Aquarius99°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.0 on 6 Jul 2018)
1 Jun 2018
C/2018 EF9 (Lemmon)12.0Cepheus61°
Fading
1 Jun 2018
21P/Giacobini-Zinner12.1Cygnus100°
Brightening
(peak at mag 6.5 on 11 Sep 2018)
31 Jul 2005
C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)12.3Lynx31°
Fading
1 Jun 2018
C/2016 N6 (PANSTARRS)12.3Lynx33°
Fading
1 Jun 2018
240P/NEAT13.2Taurus
Fading
1 Mar 2018
74P/Smirnova-Chernykh13.2Leo83°
Fading
29 Feb 2012
66P/du Toit13.4Sculptor89°
Fading
(peak at mag 12.9 on 18 May 2018)
1 Jun 2018
P/2013 CU129 (PANSTARRS)13.4Hydra47°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.4 on 10 Jul 2018)
1 Oct 2013
C/2015 O1 (PANSTARRS)13.4Ursa Major74°
Fading
1 Jun 2018
C/2015 V2 (Johnson)14.1Phoenix86°
Fading
19 Oct 2017
69P/Taylor14.2Cetus59°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.9 on 3 Dec 2018)
None available
65P/Gunn14.7Aquarius101°
Brightening
(peak at mag 14.4 on 16 Aug 2018)
1 Aug 2017
C/2014 S2 (PANSTARRS)14.8Hydra105°
Fading
3 Aug 2016
C/2015 VL62 (Lemmon-Yeung-PANSTARRS)15.5Scorpius165°
Fading
(peak at mag 15.2 on 9 May 2018)
19 Oct 2017
C/2017 O1 (ASASSN)15.7Ursa Major54°
Fading
1 Mar 2018
C/2016 N4 (MASTER)15.8Ursa Major60°
Fading
2 Nov 2017
C/2017 T1 (Heinze)16.0Octans120°
Fading
1 Mar 2018
185P/Petriew16.1Cancer39°
Fading
2 Apr 2018
C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)16.2Ophiuchus151°
Fading
1 Mar 2016
59P/Kearns-Kwee16.2Taurus26°
Brightening
(peak at mag 14.7 on 23 Dec 2018)
31 Dec 2099
110P/Hartley16.5Sagittarius166°
Brightening
(peak at mag 16.5 on 30 Jun 2018)
29 Feb 2012
47P/Ashbrook-Jackson16.6Auriga15°
Fading
29 Feb 2012
168P/Hergenrother16.6Centaurus132°
Brightening
15 Jan 2013

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