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

73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann reaches its brightest

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Comets feed

Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is forecast to reach its brightest, at around mag 11.7. It will lie at a distance of 0.98 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 1.41 AU from the Earth.

From Ashburn however, it will not be observable – it will reach its highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 6° above the horizon at dawn.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

For more information about its path across the sky, see In-The-Sky.org's ephemeris page for comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann.

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 Oct 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 exact position of comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 20h40m20s -20°08' Capricornus 11.7

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 11 March 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

13-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


13 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:43 12:37 18:30
Venus 06:39 13:22 20:04
Moon 17:37 00:02 05:51
Mars 08:04 14:46 21:29
Jupiter 20:29 02:14 07:54
Saturn 01:53 06:39 11:26
All times shown in EST.


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.




Color scheme