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

C/2018 N2 (ASASSN) at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet C/2018 N2 (ASASSN) will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 3.12 AU.

From Fairfield the 2019 apparition of C/2018 N2 (ASASSN) 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.
10 Nov 2019 – C/2018 N2 (ASASSN) at perihelion
20 Oct 2019AndromedaVisible from 19:12 until 06:06
Highest at 00:10, 86° above S horizon
22 Oct 2019AndromedaVisible from 19:09 until 06:06
Highest at 23:54, 86° above S horizon
24 Oct 2019AndromedaVisible from 19:06 until 05:54
Highest at 23:41, 86° above S horizon
26 Oct 2019AndromedaVisible from 19:04 until 05:43
Highest at 23:28, 86° above S horizon
28 Oct 2019AndromedaVisible from 19:01 until 05:31
Highest at 23:16, 87° above S horizon
30 Oct 2019AndromedaVisible from 18:59 until 05:19
Highest at 23:03, 87° above S horizon
01 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 18:56 until 05:08
Highest at 22:51, 87° above S horizon
03 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:54 until 03:56
Highest at 21:38, 87° above S horizon
05 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:52 until 03:44
Highest at 21:26, 87° above S horizon
07 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:50 until 03:32
Highest at 21:14, 88° above S horizon
09 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:48 until 03:21
Highest at 21:02, 88° above S horizon
11 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:47 until 03:09
Highest at 20:50, 88° above S horizon
13 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:45 until 02:58
Highest at 20:38, 88° above S horizon
15 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:44 until 02:46
Highest at 20:27, 88° above S horizon
17 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:42 until 02:35
Highest at 20:15, 88° above S horizon
19 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:41 until 02:24
Highest at 20:04, 88° above S horizon
21 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:40 until 02:13
Highest at 19:53, 88° above S horizon
23 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:39 until 02:02
Highest at 19:42, 88° above S horizon
25 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:38 until 01:51
Highest at 19:31, 88° above S horizon
27 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:37 until 01:41
Highest at 19:20, 88° above S horizon
29 Nov 2019AndromedaVisible from 17:37 until 01:30
Highest at 19:10, 88° above S horizon

A more detailed table of C/2018 N2 (ASASSN)'s position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of C/2018 N2 (ASASSN) is available here.

At the moment of perihelion it will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 17:46 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 53° above your eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 20:57, 87° above your southern horizon. It will continue to be observable until around 03:16, when it sinks below 21° above your north-western horizon.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of C/2018 N2 (ASASSN) 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.

Based on the magnitude parameters published for this comet by the BAA Comet Section, we estimate that it may be around mag 12 at perihelion. This estimate is based on observations that the BAA has received from amateur astronomers, assuming that its current level of activity will remain constant.

You will probably require a telescope to see this comet. It is unlikely to be visible through bird-watching binoculars, and even less likely to be visible to the unaided eye.

The comet's position at perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet C/2018 N2 (ASASSN) 00h23m00s +38°51' Andromeda 11.5

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 10 November 2019
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

13-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


13 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:48 11:45 16:42
Venus 08:34 13:12 17:49
Moon 16:09 22:39 04:08
Mars 04:33 10:06 15:39
Jupiter 09:38 14:13 18:49
Saturn 11:05 15:44 20:23
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.






Color scheme