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

2P/Encke reaches its brightest

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 (376 days ago)

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Comet 2P/Encke is forecast to reach its brightest, at around mag 5.4. It will lie at a distance of 0.34 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 0.66 AU from the Earth.

From Ashburn (click to change) however, it will not be readily observable since it will be very close to the Sun, at a separation of only 4° from it.

For more information about its path across the sky, see In-The-Sky.org's ephemeris page for comet 2P/Encke.

This event was automatically generated on the basis of orbital elements published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), and is updated daily (last update, 21 Mar 2018).

Note that the future positions of comets are typically known with a high degree of confidence, but their brightnesses are often much more unpredictable, since it is impossible to predict with certainty how they will respond as they move closer to the Sun. Magnitude estimates should be assumed to be highly provisional more than a few weeks in advance.

Printable finder charts
Light-on-dark PNG image PDF document
Dark-on-light PNG image PDF document
The path traced across the sky by 2P/Encke

The exact position of comet 2P/Encke will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 2P/Encke 23h37m00s -03°07' Pisces 5.4

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 09 March 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

11-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


11 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:43 12:30 18:18
Venus 06:49 13:32 20:15
Moon 15:33 22:23 04:29
Mars 08:08 14:49 21:30
Jupiter 20:38 02:22 08:03
Saturn 02:00 06:47 11:33
All times shown in EST.


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.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Image credit

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




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