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/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)11.7Perseus67°
Fading
(peak at mag 6.1 on 12 Feb 2019)
3 Mar 2019
38P/Stephan-Oterma12.3Lynx116°
Fading
3 Mar 2019
C/2016 M1 (PANSTARRS)12.5Dorado74°
Fading
31 Oct 2018
C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)12.7Hercules110°
Fading
4 Feb 2019
69P/Taylor12.8Taurus64°
Fading
None available
46P/Wirtanen12.8Leo Minor129°
Fading
3 Mar 2019
C/2018 N2 (ASASSN)13.0Cetus23°
Brightening
(peak at mag 10.3 on 20 Oct 2019)
4 Feb 2019
C/2018 L2 (ATLAS)13.0Andromeda41°
Fading
4 Feb 2019
C/2017 M4 (ATLAS)13.1Ophiuchus101°
Brightening
(peak at mag 12.8 on 2 May 2019)
2 Oct 2018
74P/Smirnova-Chernykh13.2Libra122°
Brightening
(peak at mag 13.1 on 4 May 2019)
29 Feb 2012
123P/West-Hartley13.6Ursa Major144°
Fading
(peak at mag 13.3 on 19 Feb 2019)
3 Mar 2019
C/2016 N6 (PANSTARRS)14.1Lepus81°
Fading
4 Feb 2019
168P/Hergenrother14.3Piscis Austrinus50°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.5 on 22 Aug 2019)
15 Jan 2013
C/2017 T2 (PANSTARRS)14.4Cetus44°
Brightening
4 Feb 2019
C/2015 O1 (PANSTARRS)14.5Lynx120°
Fading
1 Dec 2018
60P/Tsuchinshan14.6Leo168°
Fading
4 Feb 2019
C/2017 S3 (PANSTARRS)15.0Draco114°
Fading
1 Dec 2018
240P/NEAT15.1Ursa Major130°
Fading
1 Mar 2018
48P/Johnson15.3Cetus30°
Fading
31 Oct 2018
C/2014 S2 (PANSTARRS)15.5Centaurus138°
Brightening
(peak at mag 15.5 on 23 Feb 2019)
3 Aug 2016
59P/Kearns-Kwee16.1Gemini113°
Fading
31 Dec 2099
C/2015 V2 (Johnson)16.2Sculptor41°
Fading
19 Oct 2017
260P/McNaught16.3Microscopium61°
Brightening
(peak at mag 11.0 on 24 Sep 2019)
22 Dec 2012
246P/NEAT16.4Lynx119°
Brightening
1 Aug 2013
65P/Gunn16.5Cetus
Fading
1 Aug 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