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

19P/Borrelly at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet 19P/Borrelly will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 1.31 AU.

From Ashburn the 2028–2029 apparition of 19P/Borrelly 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.
05 Dec 2028 – 19P/Borrelly at perigee
06 Dec 2028 – 19P/Borrelly reaches its brightest
08 Dec 2028 – 19P/Borrelly at perihelion
17 Nov 2028EridanusVisible from 21:30 until 02:16
Highest at 23:53, 28° above S horizon
19 Nov 2028EridanusVisible from 21:04 until 02:21
Highest at 23:43, 30° above S horizon
21 Nov 2028EridanusVisible from 20:39 until 02:26
Highest at 23:32, 32° above S horizon
23 Nov 2028EridanusVisible from 20:14 until 02:29
Highest at 23:22, 34° above S horizon
25 Nov 2028EridanusVisible from 19:46 until 02:29
Highest at 23:07, 37° above S horizon
27 Nov 2028EridanusVisible from 19:23 until 02:31
Highest at 22:57, 39° above S horizon
29 Nov 2028EridanusVisible from 19:01 until 02:34
Highest at 22:47, 42° above S horizon
01 Dec 2028EridanusVisible from 18:39 until 02:36
Highest at 22:37, 45° above S horizon
03 Dec 2028EridanusVisible from 18:14 until 02:34
Highest at 22:24, 48° above S horizon
05 Dec 2028CetusVisible from 17:58 until 02:35
Highest at 22:15, 51° above S horizon
07 Dec 2028CetusVisible from 17:55 until 02:37
Highest at 22:06, 53° above S horizon
09 Dec 2028CetusVisible from 17:57 until 02:34
Highest at 21:53, 56° above S horizon
11 Dec 2028CetusVisible from 17:58 until 02:36
Highest at 21:45, 59° above S horizon
13 Dec 2028AriesVisible from 17:56 until 02:33
Highest at 21:33, 62° above S horizon
15 Dec 2028AriesVisible from 17:58 until 02:34
Highest at 21:26, 65° above S horizon
17 Dec 2028AriesVisible from 18:00 until 02:32
Highest at 21:16, 68° above S horizon
19 Dec 2028AriesVisible from 18:01 until 02:33
Highest at 21:10, 71° above S horizon
21 Dec 2028AriesVisible from 17:59 until 02:31
Highest at 21:00, 73° above S horizon
23 Dec 2028AriesVisible from 18:01 until 02:29
Highest at 20:52, 76° above S horizon
25 Dec 2028AriesVisible from 18:03 until 02:27
Highest at 20:43, 78° above S horizon
27 Dec 2028AriesVisible from 18:04 until 02:26
Highest at 20:36, 80° above S horizon

A more detailed table of 19P/Borrelly's position on each night is available here. A diagram of the orbit of 19P/Borrelly is available here.

At the moment of perihelion it will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 17:56 (EDT), 24° above your eastern horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 21:56, 52° above your southern horizon. It will continue to be observable until around 02:08, when it sinks below 21° above your western horizon.

Finder chart

The chart below shows the path of 19P/Borrelly 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 19P/Borrelly is currently available.

The comet's position at perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 19P/Borrelly 02h56m30s 1°47'N Cetus 6.4

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 08 December 2028
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

22-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


22 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:12 12:45 17:18
Venus 05:13 10:19 15:26
Moon 22:50 05:26 11:53
Mars 00:24 06:41 12:58
Jupiter 02:41 08:20 14:00
Saturn 14:32 21:10 03:48
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 15 Mar 2021.

Image credit

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






Color scheme