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Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 is currently in the constellation of Aquarius. The current Right Ascension of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 is 22h 22m 49s and the Declination is -09° 42’ 27” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 is 22.20 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 [tip: you can also create a Quick Access page for this data if you access it frequently and would like to have a simpler view]:

22h 22m 49s
-09° 42’ 27”

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Additional information about Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 finder charts showing where the object is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars. The first finder chart has a field of view of 50 degrees, while the second one has a field of view of 10 degrees. Click on each finder chart to access a full screen interactive Online Planetarium.

Map showing Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 in Aquarius on May, 07 2021
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 in Aquarius on May, 07 2021
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen
 = visible to the naked eye
 = binocular, brighter than 10th magnitude
= current altitude ≥ 30°   = current altitude < 30°   = below the horizon
Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4
RA: 22h 22m 49s
Dec: -09° 42’ 27”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 from Earth is currently 621,478,688 kilometers, equivalent to 4.154328 Astronomical Units. Light takes 34 minutes and 33.0298 seconds to travel from Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 and arrive to us.

34 minutes and 33.0298 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 from Earth as a function of time. In the chart the distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with an interval of 1 day.

Distance of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 from Earth between January 2013 and December 2100

The value of the reported distance might be somewhat inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth. The value of the distance of 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 to Earth happens on Sat Dec 23 2028 at a distance of 0.877729 Astronomical Units, or 131,306,351 kilometers:

Sat Dec 23 2028

NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 is 22.20.


The observed magnitude and coma diameter values are derived from the Comet Observers Database by averaging the values reported in recent observations (more recent than 4 days), when available. The Estimated Magnitude comes from the JPL Horizons ephemerides service and might be inaccurate given the highly dynamic and unpredictable behavior of comets. When available, please refer to the Observed Magnitude value and consider the Estimated Magnitude as a directional indication. We acknowledge with thanks the comet observations from the COBS Comet Observation Database contributed by observers worldwide and used in this table to report recent comet observations.

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4, according to the most recent ephemerides data. Magnitude data is sampled with a 2 days interval and there might be inaccuracies for objects changing brightness very rapidly during the course of a few days. For comets there could be large discrepancies between the observed and predicted brightness because of their highly dynamic behaviour.

Predicted magnitude of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 rise and set times

Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]
Latitude: 51° 28’ 47” N
Longitude: 0° 00’ 00” E
Timezone: Europe/London

Today's Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 99.7°
Max altitude: 28.8°
Azimuth: 260.3°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 touches the horizon, considering the effect of the atmospheric refraction. As the atmospheric conditions cannot be modeled precisely the times reported here should be considered correct with an approximation of few minutes.

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 at epoch 15 March 2011 00:00 UTC (JD: 2455636.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.42769283
Orbit inclination i 8.50859891°
Perihelion distance q 1.98355198 AU
296,735,153 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.94822203 AU
740,243,481 km
Semi-major axis a 3.46588700 AU
518,489,317 km
Orbital period period 6.4500 years
2,356.7853 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2010-Jan-02 08:40:07
2,455,198.8612 JD
Next perihelion transit 2016-Jun-16 03:30
2,457,555.6465 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 302.14554448991°
Longitude of the ascending node node 151.80290604236°
Mean anomaly M 66.849520238099°
Mean motion n 0.15275044°/day

Visualization of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 and the planets along their orbits in this diagram accurately represents the current configuration of the objects in the Solar System. This is an experimental feature and it requires a WebGL enabled browser. Please provide us feedback!

Orbit Diagram of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4
View Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4 in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2021 Apr 30 22h 17m 09s -10° 07’ 05” 22.31 Aquarius
2021 May 01 22h 17m 53s -10° 03’ 48” 22.29 Aquarius
2021 May 02 22h 18m 38s -10° 00’ 35” 22.28 Aquarius
2021 May 03 22h 19m 22s -09° 57’ 24” 22.27 Aquarius
2021 May 04 22h 20m 04s -09° 54’ 16” 22.25 Aquarius
2021 May 05 22h 20m 48s -09° 51’ 11” 22.24 Aquarius
2021 May 06 22h 21m 29s -09° 48’ 09” 22.22 Aquarius
2021 May 07 22h 22m 12s -09° 45’ 08” 22.21 Aquarius
2021 May 08 22h 22m 53s -09° 42’ 12” 22.20 Aquarius
2021 May 09 22h 23m 34s -09° 39’ 19” 22.18 Aquarius
2021 May 10 22h 24m 14s -09° 36’ 29” 22.17 Aquarius
2021 May 11 22h 24m 53s -09° 33’ 42” 22.15 Aquarius
2021 May 12 22h 25m 32s -09° 30’ 59” 22.14 Aquarius
2021 May 13 22h 26m 12s -09° 28’ 18” 22.12 Aquarius