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

C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE) at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE) will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 1.32 AU.

From Fairfield the 2018 apparition of C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE) will progress as follows:

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27 Jul 2018 – C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE) reaches its brightest
27 Jul 2018 – C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE) at perigee
01 Aug 2018 – C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE) at perihelion
11 Jul 2018CetusVisible from 03:29 until 04:09
Highest at 04:09, 27° above SE horizon
13 Jul 2018CetusVisible from 03:22 until 04:11
Highest at 04:11, 27° above SE horizon
15 Jul 2018CetusVisible from 03:17 until 04:13
Highest at 04:13, 27° above S horizon
17 Jul 2018AquariusVisible from 03:16 until 04:16
Highest at 04:16, 26° above S horizon
19 Jul 2018SculptorVisible from 03:29 until 04:18
Highest at 04:18, 23° above S horizon
21 Jul 2018Piscis AustrinusNot observable
23 Jul 2018Piscis AustrinusNot observable
25 Jul 2018MicroscopiumNot observable
27 Jul 2018SagittariusNot observable
29 Jul 2018SagittariusNot observable
31 Jul 2018ScorpiusNot observable
02 Aug 2018OphiuchusNot observable
04 Aug 2018ScorpiusVisible from 21:22 until 21:57
Highest at 21:22, 23° above S horizon
06 Aug 2018OphiuchusVisible from 21:19 until 22:05
Highest at 21:19, 25° above S horizon
08 Aug 2018ScorpiusVisible from 21:16 until 22:03
Highest at 21:16, 26° above S horizon
10 Aug 2018LibraVisible from 21:13 until 21:58
Highest at 21:13, 27° above SW horizon
12 Aug 2018LibraVisible from 21:10 until 21:52
Highest at 21:10, 27° above SW horizon
14 Aug 2018LibraVisible from 21:06 until 21:45
Highest at 21:06, 26° above SW horizon
16 Aug 2018LibraVisible from 21:03 until 21:38
Highest at 21:03, 26° above SW horizon
18 Aug 2018LibraVisible from 21:00 until 21:31
Highest at 21:00, 26° above SW horizon
20 Aug 2018LibraVisible from 20:56 until 21:23
Highest at 20:56, 26° above SW horizon

A more detailed table of C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE)'s position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE) is available here.

At the moment of perihelion it will not be readily observable since it will lie so far south that it will never rise more than 18° above the horizon.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE) 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 C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE) is currently available.

The comet's position at perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet C/2018 N1 (NEOWISE) 17h45m00s -30°28' Scorpius 9.0

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 01 August 2018
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

19-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


19 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:03 13:42 20:20
Venus 09:41 15:52 22:03
Moon 22:58 04:15 10:00
Mars 20:13 00:41 05:04
Jupiter 13:50 18:58 00:11
Saturn 17:47 22:25 03:08
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 07 Mar 2021.

Image credit

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






Color scheme