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

41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 1.05 AU.

From Fairfield the 2017 apparition of 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak will progress as follows:

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.
25 Mar 2017 – 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak at perigee
31 Mar 2017 – 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak reaches its brightest
10 Apr 2017 – 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak at perihelion
20 Mar 2017Canes VenaticiVisible from 20:10 until 05:49
Highest at 02:24, 83° above N horizon
22 Mar 2017Ursa MajorVisible from 20:12 until 05:45
Highest at 02:42, 82° above N horizon
24 Mar 2017BootesVisible from 20:15 until 05:42
Highest at 03:01, 81° above N horizon
26 Mar 2017BootesVisible from 20:17 until 05:38
Highest at 03:21, 80° above N horizon
28 Mar 2017BootesVisible from 20:29 until 05:35
Highest at 03:41, 80° above N horizon
30 Mar 2017BootesVisible from 20:50 until 05:31
Highest at 03:59, 81° above N horizon
01 Apr 2017HerculesVisible from 21:11 until 05:27
Highest at 04:15, 82° above N horizon
03 Apr 2017HerculesVisible from 21:31 until 05:24
Highest at 04:29, 83° above N horizon
05 Apr 2017HerculesVisible from 21:50 until 05:20
Highest at 04:41, 84° above N horizon
07 Apr 2017HerculesVisible from 22:07 until 05:17
Highest at 04:50, 86° above N horizon
09 Apr 2017HerculesVisible from 22:22 until 05:13
Highest at 04:58, 87° above N horizon
11 Apr 2017HerculesVisible from 22:35 until 05:09
Highest at 05:03, 89° above N horizon
13 Apr 2017HerculesVisible from 22:45 until 05:06
Highest at 05:06, 90° above SE horizon
15 Apr 2017HerculesVisible from 22:54 until 05:02
Highest at 05:02, 88° above SE horizon
17 Apr 2017HerculesVisible from 23:01 until 04:59
Highest at 04:59, 86° above SE horizon
19 Apr 2017HerculesVisible from 23:06 until 04:55
Highest at 04:55, 84° above SE horizon
21 Apr 2017LyraVisible from 23:11 until 04:52
Highest at 04:52, 82° above SE horizon
23 Apr 2017LyraVisible from 23:14 until 04:48
Highest at 04:48, 81° above SE horizon
25 Apr 2017LyraVisible from 23:16 until 04:45
Highest at 04:45, 80° above SE horizon
27 Apr 2017LyraVisible from 23:17 until 04:42
Highest at 04:42, 78° above SE horizon
29 Apr 2017LyraVisible from 23:18 until 04:38
Highest at 04:38, 77° above S horizon

A more detailed table of 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak's position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak is available here.

At the moment of perihelion it will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 22:18, when it reaches an altitude of 21° above your north-eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 04:54, 86° above your northern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight around 05:11, 85° above your north-western horizon.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak 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 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak is currently available.

The comet's position at perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak 17h16m50s 44°22'N Hercules 7.5

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 10 April 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

13-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


13 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:40 13:41 20:42
Venus 05:00 11:17 17:34
Moon 17:58 00:12 06:18
Mars 07:42 14:55 22:07
Jupiter 19:02 00:46 06:30
Saturn 00:46 05:27 10:07
All times shown in EDT.


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 27 Dec 2021.

Image credit

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






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