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/2017 S3 (PANSTARRS)3.7Hydra10°
Brightening
(peak at mag 2.2 on 15 Aug 2018)
1 Aug 2018
21P/Giacobini-Zinner8.1Cassiopeia84°
Brightening
(peak at mag 6.5 on 10 Sep 2018)
31 Jul 2005
C/2016 M1 (PANSTARRS)9.4Circinus97°
Fading
(peak at mag 8.7 on 28 Jun 2018)
1 Aug 2018
C/2017 T3 (ATLAS)9.5Antlia42°
Fading
(peak at mag 8.6 on 22 Jul 2018)
1 Aug 2018
C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE)11.3Libra97°
Fading
(peak at mag 9.2 on 27 Jul 2018)
1 Aug 2018
37P/Forbes11.3Pisces142°
Fading
(peak at mag 11.2 on 5 Jul 2018)
1 Aug 2018
48P/Johnson12.2Aquarius161°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.2 on 19 Aug 2018)
1 Aug 2018
C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)12.4Ursa Major38°
Brightening
1 Aug 2018
C/2016 N6 (PANSTARRS)12.4Cancer15°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.2 on 28 Nov 2018)
1 Jun 2018
C/2018 EF9 (Lemmon)12.6Draco89°
Fading
1 Jun 2018
66P/du Toit13.3Cetus124°
Fading
1 Aug 2018
69P/Taylor13.4Eridanus92°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.9 on 2 Dec 2018)
None available
240P/NEAT13.4Gemini29°
Fading
1 Mar 2018
74P/Smirnova-Chernykh13.6Virgo44°
Fading
29 Feb 2012
C/2018 L2 (ATLAS)13.7Virgo75°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.7 on 10 Dec 2018)
1 Aug 2018
C/2017 M4 (ATLAS)13.8Hercules95°
Brightening
1 Aug 2018
C/2015 O1 (PANSTARRS)13.9Ursa Major38°
Fading
1 Aug 2018
46P/Wirtanen13.9Cetus127°
Brightening
(peak at mag 3.2 on 16 Dec 2018)
21 Apr 2008
C/2015 V2 (Johnson)14.3Eridanus114°
Fading
19 Oct 2017
65P/Gunn14.4Aquarius152°
Brightening
(peak at mag 14.4 on 16 Aug 2018)
1 Aug 2017
C/2014 S2 (PANSTARRS)15.2Hydra60°
Fading
3 Aug 2016
59P/Kearns-Kwee15.7Auriga51°
Brightening
(peak at mag 14.7 on 24 Dec 2018)
31 Dec 2099
78P/Gehrels16.0Aquarius168°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.0 on 24 Mar 2019)
3 Jan 2012
C/2016 N4 (MASTER)16.2Ursa Major46°
Fading
2 Nov 2017
C/2015 VL62 (Lemmon-Yeung-PANSTARRS)16.4Libra97°
Fading
19 Oct 2017

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