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

144P/Kushida reaches its brightest

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet 144P/Kushida is forecast to reach its brightest. It will lie at a distance of 1.41 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 0.61 AU from the Earth.

From Seattle the 2023–2024 apparition of 144P/Kushida will progress as follows:

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.
13 Dec 2023 – 144P/Kushida at perigee
09 Jan 2024 – 144P/Kushida reaches its brightest
26 Jan 2024 – 144P/Kushida at perihelion
19 Dec 2023AriesVisible from 17:43 until 02:10
Highest at 21:09, 57° above S horizon
21 Dec 2023AriesVisible from 17:44 until 02:05
Highest at 21:04, 57° above S horizon
23 Dec 2023AriesVisible from 17:42 until 02:00
Highest at 21:00, 57° above S horizon
25 Dec 2023AriesVisible from 17:44 until 01:52
Highest at 20:52, 57° above S horizon
27 Dec 2023AriesVisible from 17:46 until 01:48
Highest at 20:48, 57° above S horizon
29 Dec 2023AriesVisible from 17:47 until 01:41
Highest at 20:41, 57° above S horizon
31 Dec 2023AriesVisible from 17:49 until 01:34
Highest at 20:34, 57° above S horizon
02 Jan 2024AriesVisible from 17:51 until 01:31
Highest at 20:31, 57° above S horizon
04 Jan 2024AriesVisible from 17:52 until 01:25
Highest at 20:25, 57° above S horizon
06 Jan 2024AriesVisible from 17:54 until 01:20
Highest at 20:20, 57° above S horizon
08 Jan 2024AriesVisible from 17:55 until 01:15
Highest at 20:14, 57° above S horizon
10 Jan 2024AriesVisible from 17:57 until 01:14
Highest at 20:14, 57° above S horizon
12 Jan 2024TaurusVisible from 18:02 until 01:10
Highest at 20:09, 57° above S horizon
14 Jan 2024TaurusVisible from 18:04 until 01:06
Highest at 20:05, 57° above S horizon
16 Jan 2024TaurusVisible from 18:05 until 01:02
Highest at 20:01, 57° above S horizon
18 Jan 2024TaurusVisible from 18:10 until 00:59
Highest at 19:58, 57° above S horizon
20 Jan 2024TaurusVisible from 18:11 until 00:56
Highest at 19:55, 57° above S horizon
22 Jan 2024TaurusVisible from 18:12 until 00:50
Highest at 19:48, 57° above S horizon
24 Jan 2024TaurusVisible from 18:17 until 00:48
Highest at 19:46, 58° above S horizon
26 Jan 2024TaurusVisible from 18:17 until 00:46
Highest at 19:43, 58° above S horizon
28 Jan 2024TaurusVisible from 18:22 until 00:44
Highest at 19:42, 58° above S horizon

A more detailed table of 144P/Kushida's position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of 144P/Kushida is available here.

On 9 January it will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 17:56 (PDT), 46° above your south-eastern horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 20:12, 56° above your southern horizon. It will continue to be observable until around 01:04, when it sinks below 22° above your western horizon.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of 144P/Kushida 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 144P/Kushida is currently available.

The comet's position on 9 January 2024 will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 144P/Kushida 03h18m50s 14°27'N Aries 7.2

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 09 January 2024
Sunrise
07:56
Sunset
16:36
Twilight ends
18:28
Twilight begins
06:04

28-day old moon
Waning Crescent

2%

28 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:13 10:36 14:58
Venus 05:19 09:45 14:11
Moon 06:45 10:34 14:21
Mars 07:02 11:09 15:17
Jupiter 12:12 19:10 02:09
Saturn 10:09 15:20 20:31
All times shown in PST.

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 27 Sep 2021.

Image credit

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

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