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

Comet C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) passes perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) will make its closest approach to the Sun on 6 April, at a distance of 1.00 AU.

From Ashburn on the day of perihelion it will not be readily observable since it will be very close to the Sun, at a separation of only 18° from it.

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The events that comprise the 2022 apparition of C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) are as follows:

Date Event
03 Apr 2022Comet C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) reaches peak brightness
06 Apr 2022Comet C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) passes perihelion

The table below lists the times when C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) will be visible from Ashburn day-by-day through its apparition:

Date Constellation Comet visibility
16 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
18 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
20 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
22 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
24 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
26 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
28 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
30 Mar 2022AndromedaNot observable
01 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
03 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
05 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
07 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
09 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
11 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
13 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
15 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
17 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
19 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
21 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
23 Apr 2022PiscesNot observable
25 Apr 2022AriesNot 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.

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.

No estimate for the brightness of comet C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) is currently available.

The comet's position at perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) 01h06m00s 24°26'N Pisces 9.0

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 6 Apr 2022

The sky on 6 April 2022
Sunrise
06:44
Sunset
19:38
Twilight ends
21:11
Twilight begins
05:12

5-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

30%

5 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:58 13:26 19:54
Venus 04:54 10:21 15:48
Moon 09:43 17:28 01:18
Mars 04:41 09:54 15:07
Jupiter 05:53 11:43 17:33
Saturn 04:37 09:50 15:03
All times shown in EDT.

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

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 14 Jun 2024.

Image credit

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

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Ashburn

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Longitude:
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39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

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