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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 7:54  
clear_day Transit: 11:51  
SunsetSet: 15:49 south
wb_twilight Nautical TwilightWhat's Visible Now?
Comets » 

Comet 126P/IRAS

Altitude: 27.7°   Azimuth: 5.2°   Direction: North

Comet 126P/IRAS is currently in the constellation of Cepheus.

The current Right Ascension of Comet 126P/IRAS is 23h 19m 04s and the Declination is +65° 51’ 39” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 126P/IRAS is 16.54 (JPL) while the latest observed magnitude is 17.3 (COBS).

23h 19m 04s
+65° 51’ 39”

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 126P/IRAS from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Today Comet 126P/IRAS is circumpolar and transits at 17:58 UTC reaching a maximum altitude of 75.6°.
  • 126P/IRAS is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Right now it is placed in the North direction at an altitude of 28° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, 126P/IRAS 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 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.

Finder chart of 126P/IRAS in Cepheus on December,11 2023
Map showing Comet 126P/IRAS in Cepheus on December, 11 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of 126P/IRAS
Map showing Comet 126P/IRAS in Cepheus on December, 11 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

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: 23h 19m 04s
Dec: +65° 51’ 39”
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 274,847,949 kilometers, equivalent to 1.837245 Astronomical Units. Light takes 15 minutes and 16.7941 seconds to travel from Comet 126P/IRAS and arrive to us.

15 minutes and 16.7941 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.

Chart of the distance of Comet 126P/IRAS 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 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 1 January 2013 and 30 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 and Light Curve

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.

Chart of the magnitude of Comet 126P/IRAS as a function of time

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 Dec 04 23h 15m 16s +66° 47’ 11” 16.29 Cepheus
2023 Dec 05 23h 15m 33s +66° 39’ 11” 16.32 Cepheus
2023 Dec 06 23h 15m 56s +66° 31’ 18” 16.36 Cepheus
2023 Dec 07 23h 16m 23s +66° 23’ 31” 16.39 Cepheus
2023 Dec 08 23h 16m 54s +66° 15’ 52” 16.42 Cepheus
2023 Dec 09 23h 17m 29s +66° 08’ 21” 16.46 Cepheus
2023 Dec 10 23h 18m 07s +66° 00’ 59” 16.49 Cepheus
2023 Dec 11 23h 18m 51s +65° 53’ 44” 16.53 Cepheus
2023 Dec 12 23h 19m 37s +65° 46’ 36” 16.56 Cepheus
2023 Dec 13 23h 20m 29s +65° 39’ 38” 16.59 Cepheus
2023 Dec 14 23h 21m 23s +65° 32’ 49” 16.63 Cepheus
2023 Dec 15 23h 22m 20s +65° 26’ 09” 16.66 Cepheus
2023 Dec 16 23h 23m 21s +65° 19’ 39” 16.70 Cepheus
2023 Dec 17 23h 24m 26s +65° 13’ 17” 16.73 Cepheus