Comet C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 1.05 AU.
|20 Apr 2017||– C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) at perigee|
|04 May 2017||– C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) reaches its brightest|
|10 May 2017||– C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) at perihelion|
|19 Apr 2017||Aquarius||Not observable|
|21 Apr 2017||Aquarius||Not observable|
|23 Apr 2017||Aquarius||Not observable|
|25 Apr 2017||Aquarius||Not observable|
|27 Apr 2017||Aquarius||Not observable|
|29 Apr 2017||Aquarius||Not observable|
|01 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|03 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|05 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|07 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|09 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|11 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|13 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|15 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|17 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|19 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|21 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|23 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|25 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|27 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
|29 May 2017||Pisces||Not observable|
At the moment of perihelion it will not be observable – it will reach its highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 12° above the horizon at dawn.
The chart below shows the path of C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) 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.
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 For most comets, we do not publish any magnitude estimates at all.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/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) is currently available.
The comet's position at perihelion will be:
|Comet C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS)||23h35m20s||+02°46'||Pisces||7.9|
The coordinates are given in J2000.0.
|The sky on 10 May 2017|
14 days old
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 30 Oct 2020.
© Andy Roberts 1997. Pictured comet is C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp.