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

45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 0.56 AU.

From Ashburn the 2022 apparition of 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova will progress as follows:

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26 Apr 2022 – 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova at perihelion
05 Apr 2022CetusNot 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 2022AriesNot observable
21 Apr 2022AriesNot observable
23 Apr 2022AriesNot observable
25 Apr 2022AriesNot observable
27 Apr 2022AriesNot observable
29 Apr 2022AriesNot observable
01 May 2022TaurusNot observable
03 May 2022TaurusNot observable
05 May 2022TaurusNot observable
07 May 2022TaurusNot observable
09 May 2022TaurusNot observable
11 May 2022TaurusNot observable
13 May 2022TaurusNot observable
15 May 2022TaurusNot observable

A more detailed table of 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova's position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova is available here.

At the moment of perihelion it will not be readily observable since it will be very close to the Sun, at a separation of only 7° from it.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova 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 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova 02h46m10s +15°14' Aries 8.8

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 26 April 2022
Sunrise
06:18
Sunset
19:57
Twilight ends
21:36
Twilight begins
04:38

25-day old moon
Waning Crescent

17%

25 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:06 14:25 21:45
Venus 04:37 10:28 16:18
Moon 04:38 10:06 15:33
Mars 04:04 09:35 15:05
Jupiter 04:47 10:42 16:38
Saturn 03:24 08:38 13:53
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 06 Dec 2020.

Image credit

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

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Ashburn

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39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

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