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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 7:00  
clear_day Transit: 12:48  
SunsetSet: 18:34 south
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Comets » 

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy

Altitude: -23.0°   Azimuth: 300.7°   Direction: West-North-West

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy is currently in the constellation of Virgo. The current Right Ascension of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy is 13h 12m 36s and the Declination is -00° 45’ 37” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy is 20.38 (JPL).

13h 12m 36s
-00° 45’ 37”

The observed values of Magnitude, Coma Diameter and Tail Length are derived from the most recent observation recorded at the Comet Observers Database. The value of Predicted Magnitude comes from the JPL Horizons ephemerides service and, in the case of comets, might be inaccurate given the highly dynamic and unpredictable behavior of these objects. When available, please refer to the Observed Magnitude value and consider the Predicted 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.

Today's rise, transit and set times of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 90.7°
Max altitude: 37.8°
Azimuth: 269.3°
  • 118P/Shoemaker-Levy is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, 118P/Shoemaker-Levy is visible only through long exposure photography.
  • Go to interactive sky chart

If you need to access this information frequently for your observations, you can create a simple customized Quick Access page, so that you can easily bookmark it in your browser favorites or add a shortcut to your mobile phones' home screen.

Available Resources

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 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.

Finder chart of 118P/Shoemaker-Levy in Virgo on October,02 2023
Map showing Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy in Virgo on October, 02 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of 118P/Shoemaker-Levy
Map showing Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy in Virgo on October, 02 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

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

RA: 13h 12m 36s
Dec: -00° 45’ 37”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

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

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy from Earth is currently 590,226,967 kilometers, equivalent to 3.945424 Astronomical Units. Light takes 32 minutes and 48.7852 seconds to travel from Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy and arrive to us.

32 minutes and 48.7852 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 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.

Chart of the distance of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy from Earth in Astronomical Units (au)

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 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 to Earth

Between 1 January 2013 and 30 December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy to Earth happens on Sat Dec 23 2028 at a distance of 0.878347 Astronomical Units, or 131,398,768 kilometers:

Sat Dec 23 2028

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

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy, 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.

Chart of the magnitude of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy as a function of time

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy at epoch 04 September 2020 00:00 UTC (JD: 2459097.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.45764405
Orbit inclination i 9.71424136°
Perihelion distance q 1.83899996 AU
275,110,479 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.94252415 AU
739,391,090 km
Semi-major axis a 3.39076206 AU
507,250,785 km
Orbital period period 6.2439 years
2,280.5752 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2022-Nov-14 09:02:33
2,459,897.8768 JD
Next perihelion transit 2029-Feb-10 22:50
2,462,178.4520 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 312.43047068119°
Longitude of the ascending node node 142.8012274418°
Mean anomaly M 233.65659339128°
Mean motion n 0.15785491°/day

Visualization of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 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
View Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 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 in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 Sep 25 13h 01m 06s +00° 19’ 36” 20.29 Virgo
2023 Sep 26 13h 02m 35s +00° 11’ 11” 20.30 Virgo
2023 Sep 27 13h 04m 03s +00° 02’ 48” 20.31 Virgo
2023 Sep 28 13h 05m 30s -00° 05’ 30” 20.32 Virgo
2023 Sep 29 13h 06m 57s -00° 13’ 48” 20.33 Virgo
2023 Sep 30 13h 08m 26s -00° 22’ 04” 20.34 Virgo
2023 Oct 01 13h 09m 52s -00° 30’ 18” 20.35 Virgo
2023 Oct 02 13h 11m 20s -00° 38’ 29” 20.36 Virgo
2023 Oct 03 13h 12m 47s -00° 46’ 37” 20.38 Virgo
2023 Oct 04 13h 14m 15s -00° 54’ 43” 20.39 Virgo
2023 Oct 05 13h 15m 42s -01° 02’ 48” 20.40 Virgo
2023 Oct 06 13h 17m 08s -01° 10’ 50” 20.41 Virgo
2023 Oct 07 13h 18m 34s -01° 18’ 48” 20.42 Virgo
2023 Oct 08 13h 20m 02s -01° 26’ 44” 20.43 Virgo