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 Absolute magnitude
last updated
Comet name Mag Constellation Separation
from Sun
Trend Absolute magnitude
last updated
C/2017 T2 (PANSTARRS)9.4Cassiopeia85°
Brightening
(peak at mag 8.8 on 15 May 2020)
5 Feb 2020
C/2019 Y1 (ATLAS)11.7Pegasus32°
Brightening
(peak at mag 10.8 on 22 Mar 2020)
5 Feb 2020
C/2020 A2 (Iwamoto)12.1Draco78°
Fading
(peak at mag 11.7 on 9 Feb 2020)
5 Feb 2020
C/2018 N2 (ASASSN)12.7Andromeda61°
Fading
5 Feb 2020
246P/NEAT13.7Virgo133°
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.1 on 8 May 2020)
1 Aug 2013
69P/Taylor13.8Coma Berenices133°
Fading
(peak at mag 13.8 on 13 Feb 2020)
Unknown
88P/Howell14.0Virgo123°
Brightening
(peak at mag 8.6 on 18 Sep 2020)
1 Apr 2018
78P/Gehrels14.1Cancer163°
Fading
24 Dec 2016
168P/Hergenrother14.3Auriga116°
Fading
15 Jan 2013
68P/Klemola14.5Pisces32°
Fading
4 Jan 2020
74P/Smirnova-Chernykh14.6Sagittarius50°
Brightening
(peak at mag 14.0 on 23 Jun 2020)
29 Feb 2012
210P/Christensen14.6Aquarius
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.0 on 15 Apr 2020)
28 Mar 2009
C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)14.9Hercules86°
Brightening
3 Jun 2019
84P/Giclas15.1Aquarius
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.7 on 14 Jun 2020)
8 Feb 2017
114P/Wiseman-Skiff15.3Taurus98°
Fading
(peak at mag 14.1 on 25 Dec 2019)
11 Apr 2000
124P/Mrkos15.4Ursa Major143°
Brightening
(peak at mag 15.0 on 21 Mar 2020)
14 Sep 2017
2P/Encke15.6Pisces31°
Brightening
(peak at mag 6.0 on 27 Jun 2020)
14 Mar 2017
C/2018 W2 (Africano)16.0Grus39°
Fading
1 Dec 2019
260P/McNaught16.1Perseus97°
Fading
31 Dec 2019
C/2014 S2 (PANSTARRS)16.1Centaurus110°
Brightening
(peak at mag 16.2 on 27 Feb 2020)
3 Aug 2016
38P/Stephan-Oterma16.1Virgo120°
Fading
3 Mar 2019
C/2017 M4 (ATLAS)16.2Musca87°
Fading
3 Jun 2019
110P/Hartley16.3Aquarius
Brightening
29 Feb 2012
C/2016 M1 (PANSTARRS)16.3Lepus104°
Fading
31 Oct 2018
67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko16.7Sagittarius54°
Brightening
(peak at mag 15.3 on 21 Jul 2020)
1 Apr 2018

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, the brightnesses of comets are estimated from absolute magnitude values computed by the BAA Comet Section, based on the observations they receive. We prefer these to the Minor Planet Center's own magnitude estimates, since the latter are less often 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 ephemerides and finder charts.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

Color scheme