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🌎  Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet 126P/IRAS

Comet 126P/IRAS is currently in the constellation of Telescopium. The current Right Ascension of Comet 126P/IRAS is 20h 25m 03s and the Declination is -52° 05’ 04” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 126P/IRAS is 17.70 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet 126P/IRAS [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]:

20h 25m 03s
-52° 05’ 04”

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.

Additional information about Comet 126P/IRAS available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet 126P/IRAS Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet 126P/IRAS 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 126P/IRAS in Telescopium on January, 27 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet 126P/IRAS in Telescopium on January, 27 2023
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 126P/IRAS is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 20h 25m 03s
Dec: -52° 05’ 04”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 126P/IRAS
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 126P/IRAS?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 126P/IRAS in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 126P/IRAS Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 126P/IRAS from Earth is currently 469,657,616 kilometers, equivalent to 3.139467 Astronomical Units. Light takes 26 minutes and 6.6092 seconds to travel from Comet 126P/IRAS and arrive to us.

26 minutes and 6.6092 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 126P/IRAS 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 126P/IRAS 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 126P/IRAS from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet 126P/IRAS to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 126P/IRAS to Earth happens on Sun Sep 21 2036 at a distance of 0.789425 Astronomical Units, or 118,096,354 kilometers:

Sun Sep 21 2036

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

Comet 126P/IRAS brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet 126P/IRAS is 17.70.


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 126P/IRAS, 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 126P/IRAS between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet 126P/IRAS rise and set times

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

Comet 126P/IRAS is currently not visible from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet 126P/IRAS 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 126P/IRAS Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 126P/IRAS at epoch 11 February 2004 00:00 UTC (JD: 2453047.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.69509313
Orbit inclination i 45.83522604°
Perihelion distance q 1.71615658 AU
256,733,371 km
Aphelion distance Q 9.54076633 AU
1,427,278,331 km
Semi-major axis a 5.62846146 AU
842,005,851 km
Orbital period period 13.3534 years
4,877.3393 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2010-Mar-01 19:40:55
2,455,257.3201 JD
Next perihelion transit 2023-Jul-09 03:49
2,460,134.6594 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 356.95544266392°
Longitude of the ascending node node 357.75030176032°
Mean anomaly M 196.89155527505°
Mean motion n 0.07381073°/day

Visualization of Comet 126P/IRAS Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 126P/IRAS with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 126P/IRAS 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!

Comet 126P/IRAS 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 126P/IRAS computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 126P/IRAS in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 Jan 20 20h 00m 27s -53° 32’ 05” 17.89 Telescopium
2023 Jan 21 20h 03m 47s -53° 21’ 12” 17.86 Telescopium
2023 Jan 22 20h 07m 05s -53° 10’ 05” 17.84 Telescopium
2023 Jan 23 20h 10m 23s -52° 58’ 45” 17.81 Telescopium
2023 Jan 24 20h 13m 41s -52° 47’ 12” 17.79 Telescopium
2023 Jan 25 20h 16m 58s -52° 35’ 24” 17.76 Telescopium
2023 Jan 26 20h 20m 12s -52° 23’ 22” 17.73 Telescopium
2023 Jan 27 20h 23m 27s -52° 11’ 09” 17.71 Telescopium
2023 Jan 28 20h 26m 42s -51° 58’ 41” 17.68 Telescopium
2023 Jan 29 20h 29m 53s -51° 46’ 01” 17.66 Indus
2023 Jan 30 20h 33m 06s -51° 33’ 09” 17.63 Indus
2023 Jan 31 20h 36m 15s -51° 20’ 03” 17.60 Indus
2023 Feb 01 20h 39m 25s -51° 06’ 43” 17.58 Indus
2023 Feb 02 20h 42m 34s -50° 53’ 12” 17.55 Indus