© Andy Roberts 1997. Pictured comet is C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp.

15P/Finlay at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Comets feed

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Comet 15P/Finlay will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 0.99 AU.

From Ashburn, it will become visible around 17:58 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 22° above your south-western horizon. It will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 38 minutes after the Sun at 20:25.

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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 9 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 15P/Finlay 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 In-The-Sky.org's ephemeris generator.

The position of comet 15P/Finlay at perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 15P/Finlay 21h14m50s -17°05' Capricornus 8.7

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 22 December 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

30-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


30 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:09 12:43 17:17
Venus 08:30 13:10 17:50
Moon 07:43 12:45 17:46
Mars 10:08 15:10 20:13
Jupiter 20:48 03:45 10:38
Saturn 04:55 09:57 14:58
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 20 Aug 2019.

Image credit

© Andy Roberts 1997. Pictured comet is C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp.




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