List of Bright 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/2015 V2 (Johnson)8.1Virgo120°
Fading
(peak at mag 7.8 on 5 Jun 2017)
31 May 2017
C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS)8.8Aries55°
Fading
(peak at mag 7.5 on 3 May 2017)
31 May 2017
71P/Clark11.2Scorpius157°
Fading
(peak at mag 11.1 on 16 Jun 2017)
31 May 2017
C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)12.1Eridanus39°
Brightening
(peak at mag 8.7 on 12 Jan 2018)
2 Feb 2017
217P/LINEAR12.5Cetus58°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.2 on 17 Jul 2017)
5 Dec 2009
103P/Hartley12.8Gemini
Fading
None available
41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak13.1Ophiuchus155°
Fading
31 May 2017
C/2017 E4 (Lovejoy)13.4Taurus27°
Fading
11 May 2017
C/2014 S2 (PANSTARRS)13.5Crater94°
Fading
3 Aug 2016
C/2015 O1 (PANSTARRS)13.7Hercules134°
Brightening
31 May 2017
65P/Gunn13.7Scorpius149°
Fading
(peak at mag 13.7 on 4 Jun 2017)
31 May 2017
74P/Smirnova-Chernykh13.7Cancer31°
Fading
29 Feb 2012
47P/Ashbrook-Jackson14.4Pisces73°
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.6 on 30 Sep 2017)
29 Feb 2012
C/2011 KP36 (Spacewatch)14.5Cetus47°
Fading
2 Feb 2017
73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann14.6Cetus59°
Fading
4 Apr 2017
C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)14.9Ophiuchus144°
Fading
1 Mar 2016
2P/Encke15.2Aquarius117°
Fading
4 Apr 2017
237P/LINEAR15.2Pisces74°
Fading
1 Dec 2016
315P/LONEOS15.5Coma Berenices83°
Fading
4 Apr 2017
69P/Taylor15.7Piscis Austrinus117°
Brightening
(peak at mag 15.1 on 11 Sep 2017)
None available
C/2013 X1 (PANSTARRS)16.1Corvus103°
Fading
3 Aug 2016
110P/Hartley16.3Scorpius150°
Fading
(peak at mag 16.1 on 14 May 2017)
29 Feb 2012
24P/Schaumasse16.4Taurus31°
Brightening
(peak at mag 9.9 on 16 Nov 2017)
29 Feb 2012
C/2016 VZ18 (PANSTARRS)16.4Bootes109°
Fading
4 Apr 2017
C/2013 US10 (Catalina)16.4Perseus33°
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
EDT

Color scheme