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

Comet C/2022 P1 (NEOWISE) passes perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Comet C/2022 P1 (NEOWISE) will make its closest approach to the Sun on 28 November, at a distance of 1.60 AU.

From Fairfield on the day of perihelion it will not be readily observable since it will lie so far south that it will never rise more than 9° above the horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The events that comprise the 2022 apparition of C/2022 P1 (NEOWISE) are as follows:

Date Event
28 Nov 2022Comet C/2022 P1 (NEOWISE) passes perihelion

The table below lists the times when C/2022 P1 (NEOWISE) will be visible from Fairfield day-by-day through its apparition:

Date Constellation Comet visibility
07 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
09 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
11 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
13 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
15 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
17 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
19 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
21 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
23 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
25 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
27 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
29 Nov 2022SagittariusNot observable
01 Dec 2022SagittariusNot observable
03 Dec 2022SagittariusNot observable
05 Dec 2022SagittariusNot observable
07 Dec 2022SagittariusNot observable
09 Dec 2022SagittariusNot observable
11 Dec 2022SagittariusNot observable
13 Dec 2022SagittariusNot observable
15 Dec 2022SagittariusNot observable
17 Dec 2022SagittariusNot observable

A more detailed table of C/2022 P1 (NEOWISE)'s position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of C/2022 P1 (NEOWISE) is available here.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of C/2022 P1 (NEOWISE) 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 on 28 November 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.

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 C/2022 P1 (NEOWISE) 19h36m50s 39°33'S Sagittarius 10.3

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 28 Nov 2022

The sky on 28 November 2022
Sunrise
06:53
Sunset
16:25
Twilight ends
18:03
Twilight begins
05:15

5-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

34%

5 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:57 12:26 16:55
Venus 07:41 12:18 16:55
Moon 11:47 16:33 21:27
Mars 16:58 00:37 08:17
Jupiter 13:22 19:18 01:14
Saturn 11:46 16:50 21:55
All times shown in EST.

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 02 Jan 2024.

Image credit

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

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Fairfield

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41.14°N
73.26°W
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