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C/2013 US10 (Catalina) reaches its brightest

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) is forecast to reach its brightest. It will lie at a distance of 1.28 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 0.77 AU from the Earth.

From Ashburn the 2015–2016 apparition of C/2013 US10 (Catalina) will progress as follows:

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16 Nov 2015 – C/2013 US10 (Catalina) at perihelion
09 Jan 2016 – C/2013 US10 (Catalina) reaches its brightest
17 Jan 2016 – C/2013 US10 (Catalina) at perigee
19 Dec 2015VirgoVisible from 04:10 until 06:16
Highest at 06:16, 40° above SE horizon
21 Dec 2015VirgoVisible from 03:55 until 06:17
Highest at 06:17, 43° above SE horizon
23 Dec 2015VirgoVisible from 03:39 until 06:18
Highest at 06:18, 46° above SE horizon
25 Dec 2015BootesVisible from 03:23 until 06:19
Highest at 06:19, 50° above SE horizon
27 Dec 2015BootesVisible from 03:06 until 06:20
Highest at 06:20, 53° above SE horizon
29 Dec 2015BootesVisible from 02:48 until 06:20
Highest at 06:20, 57° above SE horizon
31 Dec 2015BootesVisible from 02:30 until 06:21
Highest at 06:21, 60° above SE horizon
02 Jan 2016BootesVisible from 02:10 until 06:21
Highest at 06:21, 64° above SE horizon
04 Jan 2016BootesVisible from 01:49 until 06:22
Highest at 06:22, 69° above SE horizon
06 Jan 2016BootesVisible from 01:27 until 06:22
Highest at 06:22, 74° above SE horizon
08 Jan 2016BootesVisible from 01:03 until 06:22
Highest at 06:22, 78° above SE horizon
10 Jan 2016BootesVisible from 00:36 until 06:22
Highest at 06:22, 81° above E horizon
12 Jan 2016Canes VenaticiVisible from 00:06 until 06:21
Highest at 06:21, 83° above NE horizon
14 Jan 2016Canes VenaticiVisible from 23:27 until 06:21
Highest at 06:21, 81° above N horizon
16 Jan 2016Ursa MajorVisible from 22:47 until 06:21
Highest at 06:21, 77° above N horizon
18 Jan 2016Ursa MajorVisible from 21:56 until 06:20
Highest at 06:09, 71° above N horizon
20 Jan 2016DracoVisible from 18:24 until 06:19
Highest at 05:50, 66° above N horizon
22 Jan 2016DracoVisible from 18:26 until 06:18
Highest at 05:26, 61° above N horizon
24 Jan 2016DracoVisible from 18:28 until 06:17
Highest at 04:54, 56° above N horizon
26 Jan 2016CamelopardalisVisible from Visible all night
Highest at 04:08, 52° above N horizon
28 Jan 2016CamelopardalisVisible from Visible all night
Highest at 02:58, 49° above N horizon

A more detailed table of C/2013 US10 (Catalina)'s position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of C/2013 US10 (Catalina) is available here.

On 9 January it will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 22:48 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 78° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:20.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of C/2013 US10 (Catalina) over the course of its apparition, as calculated from the orbital elements published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC). It 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. It was produced using StarCharter.

Comet brightnesses

Comets are intrinsically highly unpredictable objects, since their brightness depends on the scattering of sunlight from dust particles in the comet's coma and tail. This dust is continually streaming away from the comet's nucleus, and its density at any particular time is governed by the rate of sublimation of the ice in the comet's nucleus, as it is heated by the Sun's rays. It also depends on the amount of dust that is mixed in with that ice. This is very difficult to predict in advance, and can be highly variable even between successive apparitions of the same comet.

In consequence, while the future positions of comets are usually known with a high degree of confidence, their future brightnesses are not. For most comets, we do not publish any magnitude estimates at all. For the few comets where we do make estimates, we generally prefer the BAA's magnitude parameters to those published by the Minor Planet Center, since they are typically updated more often.

No estimate for the brightness of comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) is currently available.

The comet's position on 9 January 2016 will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) 14h10m30s +33°43' Bootes 5.8

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 09 January 2016
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

29-day old moon
Waning Crescent


29 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:00 12:59 17:59
Venus 04:48 09:41 14:33
Moon 06:53 11:55 16:57
Mars 01:36 07:02 12:28
Jupiter 22:14 04:33 10:49
Saturn 04:46 09:39 14:31
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 18 Jul 2020.

Image credit

None available.






Color scheme