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C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS) at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS) will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 1.05 AU.

From Cambridge however, it will not be readily observable since it will be very close to the Sun, at a separation of only 19° from it.

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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 be around mag 8 at perihelion.

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 K1 (PANSTARRS) 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 K1 (PANSTARRS) at perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS) 09h08m30s +08°35' Cancer 7.8

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 28 August 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


3 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:35 13:51 20:06
Venus 04:44 11:47 18:50
Moon 09:07 14:53 20:39
Mars 12:31 17:22 22:13
Jupiter 03:50 11:04 18:18
Saturn 12:13 17:19 22:25
All times shown in EDT.


Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.


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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