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
289P/Blanpain8.6Aquarius100°
Brightening
(peak at mag 4.7 on 11 Jan 2020)
Unknown
C/2017 T2 (PANSTARRS)9.0Auriga141°
Brightening
(peak at mag 7.0 on 14 May 2020)
2 Nov 2019
P/2008 Y12 (SOHO)10.6Lupus14°
Fading
(peak at mag -3.1 on 10 Oct 2019)
Unknown
C/2018 N2 (ASASSN)11.5Andromeda139°
Fading
(peak at mag 11.4 on 19 Oct 2019)
2 Nov 2019
68P/Klemola11.5Sagittarius70°
Fading
(peak at mag 11.4 on 23 Oct 2019)
2 Nov 2019
168P/Hergenrother12.1Lynx115°
Fading
15 Jan 2013
C/2018 W2 (Africano)12.2Grus84°
Fading
(peak at mag 8.8 on 26 Sep 2019)
2 Nov 2019
260P/McNaught12.4Andromeda146°
Fading
(peak at mag 11.8 on 28 Sep 2019)
2 Nov 2019
167P/CINEOS12.8Scorpius26°
Fading
Unknown
78P/Gehrels13.5Leo86°
Fading
24 Dec 2016
69P/Taylor14.0Coma Berenices55°
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.8 on 14 Feb 2020)
Unknown
155P/Shoemaker14.1Leo84°
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.7 on 6 Jan 2020)
Unknown
74P/Smirnova-Chernykh14.5Ophiuchus24°
Fading
(peak at mag 14.0 on 25 Jun 2020)
29 Feb 2012
76P/West-Kohoutek-Ikemura14.6Cancer97°
Brightening
(peak at mag 14.4 on 19 Nov 2019)
Unknown
C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)14.7Serpens Caput35°
Fading
3 Jun 2019
114P/Wiseman-Skiff15.0Andromeda150°
Brightening
(peak at mag 14.1 on 25 Dec 2019)
11 Apr 2000
C/2010 U3 (Boattini)15.1Canes Venatici73°
Brightening
(peak at mag 14.9 on 6 Feb 2020)
Unknown
29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann15.1Pisces143°
Fading
(peak at mag 15.0 on 8 Oct 2019)
Unknown
P/2013 R3-B (Catalina-PANSTARRS)15.3Gemini122°
Brightening
(peak at mag 15.2 on 5 Dec 2019)
Unknown
P/2013 R3-A (Catalina-PANSTARRS)15.3Gemini122°
Brightening
(peak at mag 15.2 on 5 Dec 2019)
Unknown
246P/NEAT15.3Coma Berenices51°
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.1 on 10 May 2020)
1 Aug 2013
C/2016 M1 (PANSTARRS)15.3Puppis105°
Fading
31 Oct 2018
P/2010 H2 (Vales)15.4Microscopium74°
Fading
Unknown
C/2017 M4 (ATLAS)15.5Centaurus35°
Fading
3 Jun 2019
101P/Chernykh15.8Aquarius124°
Fading
(peak at mag 15.7 on 17 Oct 2019)
Unknown

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.

Washington

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

37.13°N
113.51°W
MST

Color scheme