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

58P/Jackson-Neujmin at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet 58P/Jackson-Neujmin will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 1.38 AU.

From Ashburn the 2020 apparition of 58P/Jackson-Neujmin 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.
28 May 2020 – 58P/Jackson-Neujmin at perihelion
07 May 2020PiscesNot observable
09 May 2020PiscesNot observable
11 May 2020PiscesNot observable
13 May 2020PiscesNot observable
15 May 2020PiscesNot observable
17 May 2020PiscesNot observable
19 May 2020PiscesNot observable
21 May 2020PiscesNot observable
23 May 2020PiscesNot observable
25 May 2020PiscesNot observable
27 May 2020PiscesNot observable
29 May 2020PiscesNot observable
31 May 2020PiscesNot observable
02 Jun 2020PiscesNot observable
04 Jun 2020CetusNot observable
06 Jun 2020CetusNot observable
08 Jun 2020CetusNot observable
10 Jun 2020CetusNot observable
12 Jun 2020CetusNot observable
14 Jun 2020AriesNot observable
16 Jun 2020AriesNot observable

A more detailed table of 58P/Jackson-Neujmin's position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of 58P/Jackson-Neujmin is available here.

At the moment of perihelion it will not be observable – it will reach its highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 3° above the horizon at dawn.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of 58P/Jackson-Neujmin 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 10 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 58P/Jackson-Neujmin 01h47m50s 7°38'N Pisces 9.9

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 28 May 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

6-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


6 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:09 14:44 22:19
Venus 06:18 13:49 21:20
Moon 11:03 18:28 01:41
Mars 02:06 07:36 13:07
Jupiter 23:50 04:41 09:32
Saturn 00:06 05:01 09:56
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 27 Jul 2021.

Image credit

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






Color scheme