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A Complete Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 7:48  
clear_day Transit: 11:49  
SunsetSet: 15:50 south
sunny DaytimeWhat's Visible Now?
Comets » 

Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR

Altitude: -4.3°   Azimuth: 241.9°   Direction: West-South-West

Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR is a periodic comet that takes 5.47 years to complete one orbit around the Sun. It was first discovered on November 27, 1869, by Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel and later independently by Lewis Swift on October 11, 1880. After 1908, the comet was considered lost due to unsuccessful attempts to observe it during successive perihelion passages. However, on December 7, 2001, the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program discovered a new object, which was later confirmed to be the same comet. With a perihelion distance of 1.6 astronomical units and an aphelion distance of 5.3 astronomical units, the comet's orbit takes it from beyond Jupiter's orbit to just inside Earth's orbit.

Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR is currently in the constellation of Libra.

The current Right Ascension of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR is 15h 16m 41s and the Declination is -20° 34’ 11” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR is 33.41 (JPL).

15h 16m 41s
-20° 34’ 11”

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 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 110.6°
Max altitude: 18.0°
Azimuth: 249.4°
  • 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR 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 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR 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 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR in Libra on December,06 2023
Map showing Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR in Libra on December, 06 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR
Map showing Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR in Libra on December, 06 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 15h 16m 41s
Dec: -20° 34’ 11”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR from Earth is currently 909,770,486 kilometers, equivalent to 6.081440 Astronomical Units. Light takes 50 minutes and 34.6677 seconds to travel from Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR and arrive to us.

50 minutes and 34.6677 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR 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 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR 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 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR to Earth

Between 1 January 2013 and 30 December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR to Earth happens on Thu Nov 12 2026 at a distance of 0.401211 Astronomical Units, or 60,020,365 kilometers:

Thu Nov 12 2026

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

Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR, 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 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR as a function of time

Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR at epoch 01 November 2019 00:00 UTC (JD: 2458789.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.57742214
Orbit inclination i 14.43558221°
Perihelion distance q 1.38970845 AU
207,897,426 km
Aphelion distance Q 5.18758094 AU
776,051,064 km
Semi-major axis a 3.28864470 AU
491,974,245 km
Orbital period period 5.9639 years
2,178.3309 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2020-Nov-26 00:20:20
2,459,179.5141 JD
Next perihelion transit 2026-Nov-13 08:16
2,461,357.8451 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 167.76737421058°
Longitude of the ascending node node 238.98702345016°
Mean anomaly M 295.5446486951°
Mean motion n 0.16526415°/day

Visualization of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR 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 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR
View Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 Nov 29 15h 10m 20s -20° 14’ 08” 33.42 Libra
2023 Nov 30 15h 11m 12s -20° 16’ 49” 33.42 Libra
2023 Dec 01 15h 12m 02s -20° 19’ 28” 33.42 Libra
2023 Dec 02 15h 12m 51s -20° 22’ 09” 33.42 Libra
2023 Dec 03 15h 13m 41s -20° 24’ 47” 33.41 Libra
2023 Dec 04 15h 14m 30s -20° 27’ 24” 33.41 Libra
2023 Dec 05 15h 15m 20s -20° 30’ 00” 33.41 Libra
2023 Dec 06 15h 16m 10s -20° 32’ 35” 33.41 Libra
2023 Dec 07 15h 16m 59s -20° 35’ 08” 33.41 Libra
2023 Dec 08 15h 17m 48s -20° 37’ 41” 33.40 Libra
2023 Dec 09 15h 18m 38s -20° 40’ 12” 33.40 Libra
2023 Dec 10 15h 19m 27s -20° 42’ 42” 33.40 Libra
2023 Dec 11 15h 20m 16s -20° 45’ 11” 33.39 Libra
2023 Dec 12 15h 21m 05s -20° 47’ 39” 33.39 Libra