None available.

88P/Howell at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Comets feed

Objects: 88P/Howell
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The sky at

Comet 88P/Howell will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 1.36 AU.

From Ashburn the 2020 apparition of 88P/Howell will progress as follows:

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17 Sep 2020 – 88P/Howell reaches its brightest
26 Sep 2020 – 88P/Howell at perihelion
05 Sep 2020LibraNot observable
07 Sep 2020LibraNot observable
09 Sep 2020LibraNot observable
11 Sep 2020LibraNot observable
13 Sep 2020ScorpiusNot observable
15 Sep 2020ScorpiusNot observable
17 Sep 2020ScorpiusNot observable
19 Sep 2020ScorpiusNot observable
21 Sep 2020ScorpiusNot observable
23 Sep 2020ScorpiusNot observable
25 Sep 2020ScorpiusNot observable
27 Sep 2020ScorpiusNot observable
29 Sep 2020ScorpiusNot observable
01 Oct 2020ScorpiusNot observable
03 Oct 2020OphiuchusNot observable
05 Oct 2020OphiuchusNot observable
07 Oct 2020OphiuchusNot observable
09 Oct 2020OphiuchusNot observable
11 Oct 2020OphiuchusNot observable
13 Oct 2020OphiuchusNot observable
15 Oct 2020SagittariusNot observable

A more detailed table of 88P/Howell's position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of 88P/Howell 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 14° above the horizon at dusk.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of 88P/Howell 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 9 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.

This comet is not expected to be visible to the naked eye, but might be visible through bird-watching binoculars.

The comet's position at perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 88P/Howell 16h32m00s -25°26' Scorpius 8.6

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 26 September 2020
Sunrise
07:01
Sunset
19:00
Twilight ends
20:29
Twilight begins
05:32

9-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

75%

9 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:12 14:31 19:50
Venus 03:37 10:26 17:16
Moon 16:50 21:39 01:28
Mars 20:02 02:30 08:54
Jupiter 15:18 20:01 00:49
Saturn 15:45 20:34 01:27
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 18 Jul 2020.

Image credit

None available.

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Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

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