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

96P/Machholz at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet 96P/Machholz will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 0.12 AU.

From Ashburn however, it will not be readily observable since it will be very close to the Sun, at a separation of only 6° from it.

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 96P/Machholz.

This event was automatically generated on the basis of orbital elements published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), and is updated daily (last update, 15 Jan 2019).

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 96P/Machholz will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 96P/Machholz 13h46m40s -09°08' Virgo 2.1

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 28 October 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

9-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


9 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:38 13:40 18:42
Venus 06:02 11:47 17:33
Moon 14:48 19:58 00:13
Mars 04:53 10:55 16:57
Jupiter 07:24 12:48 18:12
Saturn 11:29 16:14 21:00
All times shown in EDT.


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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