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

C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) reaches its brightest

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) is forecast to reach its brightest. It will lie at a distance of 1.00 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 1.87 AU from the Earth.

From San Diego the 2022 apparition of C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) will progress as follows:

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03 Apr 2022 – C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) reaches its brightest
06 Apr 2022 – C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) at perihelion
13 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
15 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
17 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
19 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
21 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
23 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
25 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
27 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
29 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
31 Mar 2022PiscesNot observable
02 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
04 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
06 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
08 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
10 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
12 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
14 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
16 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
18 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
20 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
22 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable

A more detailed table of C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS)'s position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) is available here.

On 3 April it will not be readily observable since it will be very close to the Sun, at a separation of only 20° from it.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) 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 on 3 April 2022. 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 on 3 April 2022 will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) 00h58m10s 26°04'N Pisces 8.7

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 03 April 2022
Sunrise
06:32
Sunset
19:09
Twilight ends
20:34
Twilight begins
05:08

2-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

9%

2 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:39 12:55 19:10
Venus 04:27 09:59 15:31
Moon 07:59 14:49 21:48
Mars 04:14 09:36 14:57
Jupiter 05:39 11:31 17:23
Saturn 04:16 09:39 15:02
All times shown in PDT.

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 03 Jul 2022.

Image credit

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

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San Diego

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

32.72°N
117.16°W
PDT

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