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

185P/Petriew at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet 185P/Petriew will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 0.93 AU.

From Fairfield the 2017–2018 apparition of 185P/Petriew 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.
27 Jan 2018 – 185P/Petriew at perihelion
06 Jan 2018CapricornusVisible from 17:51 until 18:02
Highest at 17:51, 24° above SW horizon
08 Jan 2018AquariusVisible from 17:53 until 18:04
Highest at 17:53, 24° above SW horizon
10 Jan 2018AquariusVisible from 17:55 until 18:06
Highest at 17:55, 24° above SW horizon
12 Jan 2018AquariusVisible from 17:57 until 18:09
Highest at 17:57, 24° above SW horizon
14 Jan 2018AquariusVisible from 17:59 until 18:12
Highest at 17:59, 24° above SW horizon
16 Jan 2018AquariusVisible from 18:01 until 18:15
Highest at 18:01, 24° above SW horizon
18 Jan 2018AquariusVisible from 18:03 until 18:18
Highest at 18:03, 24° above SW horizon
20 Jan 2018AquariusVisible from 18:05 until 18:22
Highest at 18:05, 25° above SW horizon
22 Jan 2018AquariusVisible from 18:07 until 18:25
Highest at 18:07, 25° above SW horizon
24 Jan 2018AquariusVisible from 18:09 until 18:29
Highest at 18:09, 25° above SW horizon
26 Jan 2018AquariusVisible from 18:11 until 18:32
Highest at 18:11, 25° above SW horizon
28 Jan 2018AquariusVisible from 18:14 until 18:36
Highest at 18:14, 26° above SW horizon
30 Jan 2018PiscesVisible from 18:16 until 18:40
Highest at 18:16, 26° above SW horizon
01 Feb 2018PiscesVisible from 18:18 until 18:44
Highest at 18:18, 27° above SW horizon
03 Feb 2018PiscesVisible from 18:20 until 18:48
Highest at 18:20, 27° above SW horizon
05 Feb 2018PiscesVisible from 18:22 until 18:52
Highest at 18:22, 27° above SW horizon
07 Feb 2018PiscesVisible from 18:25 until 18:57
Highest at 18:25, 27° above SW horizon
09 Feb 2018CetusVisible from 18:27 until 19:01
Highest at 18:27, 28° above SW horizon
11 Feb 2018CetusVisible from 18:29 until 19:05
Highest at 18:29, 28° above SW horizon
13 Feb 2018CetusVisible from 18:31 until 19:09
Highest at 18:31, 29° above SW horizon
15 Feb 2018CetusVisible from 18:34 until 19:14
Highest at 18:34, 29° above SW horizon

A more detailed table of 185P/Petriew's position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of 185P/Petriew is available here.

At the moment of perihelion it will become visible around 18:10 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 25° above your south-western horizon. It will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 37 minutes after the Sun at 20:37.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of 185P/Petriew 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 185P/Petriew is currently available.

The comet's position at perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 185P/Petriew 23h23m10s -04°16' Aquarius 11.2

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 27 January 2018
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

10-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


10 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:32 11:09 15:47
Venus 07:29 12:25 17:20
Moon 13:27 20:38 02:41
Mars 02:29 07:20 12:11
Jupiter 01:38 06:40 11:42
Saturn 05:06 09:44 14:23
All times shown in EST.


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 06 Dec 2020.

Image credit

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






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