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

45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova reaches its brightest

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova is forecast to reach its brightest. It will lie at a distance of 0.94 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 0.10 AU from the Earth.

From Cambridge, it will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:33 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 43° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:42.

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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 6.

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 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova 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 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova at its brightest will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova 17h46m00s +12°28' Ophiuchus 5.9

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 06 February 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

9-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


9 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:01 10:40 15:19
Venus 08:24 14:39 20:54
Moon 13:04 20:19 02:29
Mars 08:49 15:01 21:13
Jupiter 22:25 04:04 09:39
Saturn 03:37 08:14 12:51
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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