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

62P/Tsuchinshan at perigee

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet 62P/Tsuchinshan will make its closest approach to the Earth, at a distance of 0.53 AU.

From Fairfield the 2023–2024 apparition of 62P/Tsuchinshan will progress as follows:

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24 Dec 2023 – 62P/Tsuchinshan at perihelion
29 Dec 2023 – 62P/Tsuchinshan reaches its brightest
31 Jan 2024 – 62P/Tsuchinshan at perigee
10 Jan 2024VirgoVisible from 00:13 until 06:07
Highest at 04:50, 59° above S horizon
12 Jan 2024VirgoVisible from 00:11 until 06:05
Highest at 04:48, 59° above S horizon
14 Jan 2024VirgoVisible from 00:05 until 06:06
Highest at 04:41, 58° above S horizon
16 Jan 2024VirgoVisible from 00:03 until 06:07
Highest at 04:38, 58° above S horizon
18 Jan 2024VirgoVisible from 00:00 until 06:04
Highest at 04:34, 58° above S horizon
20 Jan 2024VirgoVisible from 23:56 until 06:05
Highest at 04:30, 58° above S horizon
22 Jan 2024VirgoVisible from 23:56 until 06:02
Highest at 04:29, 57° above S horizon
24 Jan 2024VirgoVisible from 23:52 until 06:03
Highest at 04:23, 57° above S horizon
26 Jan 2024VirgoVisible from 23:46 until 06:00
Highest at 04:18, 57° above S horizon
28 Jan 2024VirgoVisible from 23:40 until 06:00
Highest at 04:11, 57° above S horizon
30 Jan 2024VirgoVisible from 23:38 until 05:57
Highest at 04:08, 57° above S horizon
01 Feb 2024VirgoVisible from 23:31 until 05:57
Highest at 04:01, 57° above S horizon
03 Feb 2024VirgoVisible from 23:27 until 05:53
Highest at 03:57, 57° above S horizon
05 Feb 2024VirgoVisible from 23:19 until 05:54
Highest at 03:48, 57° above S horizon
07 Feb 2024VirgoVisible from 23:14 until 05:50
Highest at 03:43, 56° above S horizon
09 Feb 2024VirgoVisible from 23:08 until 05:50
Highest at 03:38, 56° above S horizon
11 Feb 2024VirgoVisible from 23:02 until 05:45
Highest at 03:31, 56° above S horizon
13 Feb 2024VirgoVisible from 22:51 until 05:45
Highest at 03:21, 56° above S horizon
15 Feb 2024VirgoVisible from 22:44 until 05:41
Highest at 03:14, 56° above S horizon
17 Feb 2024VirgoVisible from 22:36 until 05:40
Highest at 03:06, 56° above S horizon
19 Feb 2024VirgoVisible from 22:28 until 05:36
Highest at 02:58, 56° above S horizon

A more detailed table of 62P/Tsuchinshan's position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of 62P/Tsuchinshan is available here.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of 62P/Tsuchinshan 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 62P/Tsuchinshan is currently available.

The comet's position at perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 62P/Tsuchinshan 12h58m50s 6°38'N Virgo 8.4

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 31 January 2024
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

20-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


20 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:14 10:53 15:31
Venus 05:17 09:56 14:35
Moon 21:58 03:58 09:47
Mars 06:03 10:40 15:18
Jupiter 10:44 17:33 00:22
Saturn 08:20 13:45 19:10
All times shown in EST.


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 13 Jun 2021.

Image credit

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






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