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
185P/Petriew11.1Aquarius41°
Brightening
(peak at mag 10.8 on 31 Jan~2018 2018)
25 Sep 2012
C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)11.5Taurus124°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.5 on 18 Jan~2018 2018)
9 Jan 2018
C/2017 T1 (Heinze)11.7Lacerta68°
Fading
(peak at mag 9.8 on 5 Jan~2018 2018)
9 Jan 2018
C/2016 N6 (PANSTARRS)12.5Draco94°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.4 on 18 Apr 2018)
9 Jan 2018
62P/Tsuchinshan12.5Virgo92°
Fading
9 Jan 2018
74P/Smirnova-Chernykh12.7Virgo121°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.4 on 11 Mar 2018)
29 Feb 2012
C/2015 V2 (Johnson)12.9Indus38°
Fading
19 Oct 2017
C/2016 M1 (PANSTARRS)12.9Serpens Cauda33°
Brightening
(peak at mag 9.3 on 28 Jun 2018)
30 Nov 2017
24P/Schaumasse13.0Libra67°
Fading
9 Jan 2018
240P/NEAT13.0Cetus65°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.7 on 26 Apr 2018)
30 Nov 2017
C/2015 O1 (PANSTARRS)13.2Hercules68°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.9 on 1 Apr 2018)
2 Nov 2017
C/2014 S2 (PANSTARRS)14.4Centaurus91°
Brightening
(peak at mag 14.4 on 19 Feb 2018)
3 Aug 2016
C/2016 N4 (MASTER)14.7Draco84°
Fading
2 Nov 2017
217P/LINEAR14.9Gemini172°
Fading
30 Nov 2017
47P/Ashbrook-Jackson15.0Pisces86°
Fading
29 Feb 2012
65P/Gunn15.1Sagittarius
Fading
(peak at mag 14.4 on 16 Aug 2018)
1 Aug 2017
C/2015 VL62 (Lemmon-Yeung-PANSTARRS)15.3Sagittarius10°
Fading
19 Oct 2017
69P/Taylor15.4Aquarius38°
Brightening
None available
C/2011 KP36 (Spacewatch)15.7Cetus106°
Fading
2 Feb 2017
37P/Forbes15.8Scorpius47°
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.6 on 27 Jun 2018)
16 Oct 2099
C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS)16.0Aries105°
Fading
30 Nov 2017
C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)16.1Ophiuchus36°
Fading
1 Mar 2016
128P/Shoemaker-Holt16.9Leo157°
Fading
(peak at mag 16.9 on 6 Jan~2018 2018)
None available
96P/Machholz16.9Sagittarius20°
Fading
1 Dec 2007
C/2013 US10 (Catalina)17.3Andromeda109°
Fading
2 Jun 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.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

Color scheme