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C/2012 X1 (LINEAR) reaches its brightest

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet C/2012 X1 (LINEAR) is forecast to reach its brightest. It will lie at a distance of 1.61 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 1.98 AU from the Earth.

From Fairfield, it will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:28 (EST) – 3 hours and 53 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 28° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:15.

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Based on the absolute magnitude published for this comet by the British Astronomical Association's Comet Section, we estimate that it may reach a peak brightness of around mag 8.

This comet is not expected to be visible to the naked eye, but might be visible through bird-watching binoculars. The brightnesses of comets are often highly unpredictable, since it is impossible to predict with certainty how they will respond as they are heated by the Sun as they move into the inner solar system. Magnitude estimates should be assumed to be highly provisional more than a few weeks in advance.

The path of the comet, on the other hand, can reliably be predicted. The chart below shows the path of C/2012 X1 (LINEAR) over the course of its apparition. It was produced using StarCharter and is available for download, either on dark background, in PNG, PDF or SVG formats, or on a light background, in PNG, PDF or SVG formats.

Alternatively, you can create a textual listing of the comet's position using's ephemeris generator.

The position of comet C/2012 X1 (LINEAR) at its brightest will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet C/2012 X1 (LINEAR) 19h30m00s -00°13' Aquila 8.3

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 05 March 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

4-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


4 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:13 10:25 15:37
Venus 04:00 09:03 14:07
Moon 08:51 15:46 22:41
Mars 21:06 02:46 08:21
Jupiter 12:11 19:42 03:18
Saturn 23:18 04:26 09:30
All times shown in EST.


This event was automatically generated on the basis of orbital elements published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) , and is updated whenever new elements become available. It was last updated on 22 Oct 2019.

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