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

C/2018 W2 (Africano) reaches its brightest

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet C/2018 W2 (Africano) is forecast to reach its brightest. It will lie at a distance of 1.49 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 0.50 AU from the Earth.

From Ashburn, it will be visible all night. It will become visible around 20:03 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 24° above your eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 00:53, 68° above your southern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight around 05:55, 22° above your western horizon.

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Based on the absolute magnitude published for this comet by the British Astronomical Association's Comet Section, we estimate that it may reach a peak brightness of around mag 8.

This comet is not expected to be visible to the naked eye, but might be visible through bird-watching binoculars. The brightnesses of comets are often highly unpredictable, since it is impossible to predict with certainty how they will respond as they are heated by the Sun as they move into the inner solar system. Magnitude estimates should be assumed to be highly provisional more than a few weeks in advance.

The path of the comet, on the other hand, can reliably be predicted. The chart below shows the path of C/2018 W2 (Africano) over the course of its apparition. It was produced using StarCharter and 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.

Alternatively, you can create a textual listing of the comet's position using In-The-Sky.org's ephemeris generator.

The position of comet C/2018 W2 (Africano) at its brightest will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet C/2018 W2 (Africano) 00h02m40s +17°13' Pegasus 7.5

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 26 September 2019
Sunrise
06:59
Sunset
19:00
Twilight ends
20:29
Twilight begins
05:30

27-day old moon
Waning Crescent

6%

27 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:26 14:02 19:38
Venus 07:58 13:45 19:32
Moon 04:22 11:12 18:03
Mars 06:19 12:32 18:44
Jupiter 13:08 17:53 22:38
Saturn 15:02 19:47 00:35
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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 05 Sep 2019.

Image credit

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

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme