Your guide to the Solar System and the night sky
🌎 Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet 20D/Westphal

Comet 20D/Westphal is currently in the constellation of Centaurus. The current Right Ascension of Comet 20D/Westphal is 14h 11m 29s and the Declination is -52° 09’ 13” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 20D/Westphal is 30.09 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet 20D/Westphal [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]:

14h 11m 29s
-52° 09’ 13”

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 20D/Westphal available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet 20D/Westphal Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet 20D/Westphal 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 20D/Westphal in Centaurus on January, 19 2021
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet 20D/Westphal in Centaurus on January, 19 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 20D/Westphal is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 14h 11m 29s
Dec: -52° 09’ 13”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 20D/Westphal
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 20D/Westphal?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 20D/Westphal in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 20D/Westphal Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 20D/Westphal from Earth is currently 3,957,424,667 kilometers, equivalent to 26.453750 Astronomical Units. Light takes 3 hours, 40 minutes and 0.5478 seconds to travel from Comet 20D/Westphal and arrive to us.

3 hours, 40 minutes and 0.5478 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 20D/Westphal 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 20D/Westphal 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 20D/Westphal from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet 20D/Westphal to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 20D/Westphal to Earth happens on Wed Apr 18 2096 at a distance of 2.068988 Astronomical Units, or 309,516,185 kilometers:

Wed Apr 18 2096

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

Comet 20D/Westphal brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet 20D/Westphal is 30.09.


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 20D/Westphal, 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 20D/Westphal between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet 20D/Westphal rise and set times

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

Comet 20D/Westphal 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 20D/Westphal 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 20D/Westphal Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 20D/Westphal at epoch 01 January 1970 00:00 UTC (JD: 2420080.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.91983119
Orbit inclination i 40.89006106°
Perihelion distance q 1.25401276 AU
187,597,639 km
Aphelion distance Q 30.03029210 AU
4,492,467,764 km
Semi-major axis a 15.64215243 AU
2,340,032,701 km
Orbital period period 61.8700 years
22,596.6052 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 1913-Nov-26 18:57:58
2,420,098.2903 JD
Next perihelion transit 1975-Oct-09 09:29
2,442,694.8954 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 57.08095497142°
Longitude of the ascending node node 348.00644693114°
Mean anomaly M 359.71657281861°
Mean motion n 0.01593160°/day

Visualization of Comet 20D/Westphal Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 20D/Westphal with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 20D/Westphal 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 20D/Westphal
View Comet 20D/Westphal in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 20D/Westphal 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 20D/Westphal computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 20D/Westphal in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2021 Jan 12 14h 11m 06s -51° 56’ 44” 30.11 Centaurus
2021 Jan 13 14h 11m 09s -51° 58’ 20” 30.10 Centaurus
2021 Jan 14 14h 11m 13s -51° 59’ 57” 30.10 Centaurus
2021 Jan 15 14h 11m 17s -52° 01’ 32” 30.10 Centaurus
2021 Jan 16 14h 11m 20s -52° 03’ 07” 30.10 Centaurus
2021 Jan 17 14h 11m 22s -52° 04’ 44” 30.10 Centaurus
2021 Jan 18 14h 11m 26s -52° 06’ 19” 30.10 Centaurus
2021 Jan 19 14h 11m 27s -52° 07’ 53” 30.10 Centaurus
2021 Jan 20 14h 11m 30s -52° 09’ 28” 30.09 Centaurus
2021 Jan 21 14h 11m 31s -52° 11’ 00” 30.09 Centaurus
2021 Jan 22 14h 11m 34s -52° 12’ 34” 30.09 Centaurus
2021 Jan 23 14h 11m 35s -52° 14’ 08” 30.09 Centaurus
2021 Jan 24 14h 11m 36s -52° 15’ 41” 30.09 Centaurus
2021 Jan 25 14h 11m 38s -52° 17’ 12” 30.09 Centaurus