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Comet 261P/Larson

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Comet 261P/Larson Position

Comet 261P/Larson is currently in the constellation of Taurus. The current Right Ascension is 04h 38m 21s and the Declination is +24° 10’ 36”.

04h 38m 21s
+24° 10’ 36”

Simplified sky chart showing where Comet 261P/Larson is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars and constellations (see full screen Online Planetarium)

Map showing Comet 261P/Larson in Taurus on March, 31 2020
Field of view: 60x30 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 showing where Comet 261P/Larson is right now (view fullscreen)

RA: 04h 38m 21s
Dec: +24° 10’ 36”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 261P/Larson
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 261P/Larson?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 261P/Larson in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 261P/Larson Distance

The distance of Comet 261P/Larson from Earth is currently 485,095,634 kilometers, equivalent to 3.242664 Astronomical Units. Light takes 26 minutes and 58.1049 seconds to travel from Comet 261P/Larson and arrive to us.

26 minutes and 58.1049 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 261P/Larson 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 261P/Larson 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 261P/Larson from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet 261P/Larson to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100 the closest approach of Comet 261P/Larson to Earth happens on Sat Sep 1 2091 at a distance of 1.07249075 Astronomical Units, or 160,442,333 kilometers:

Sat Sep 1 2091

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

Comet 261P/Larson brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet 261P/Larson is 22.62.


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 261P/Larson, 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 261P/Larson between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet 261P/Larson rise and set times

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

Today's Comet 261P/Larson rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 65.8°
Max altitude: 62.7°
Azimuth: 294.2°
Comet 261P/Larson is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet 261P/Larson 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 261P/Larson Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 261P/Larson at epoch 30 July 2013 00:00 UTC (JD: 2456504.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.39043072
Orbit inclination i 6.32793541°
Perihelion distance q 2.18707925 AU
327,182,399 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.98873917 AU
746,304,759 km
Semi-major axis a 3.58790921 AU
536,743,579 km
Orbital period period 6.8000 years
2,482.3362 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2012-Sep-29 10:14:53
2,456,199.9270 JD
Next perihelion transit 2019-Jul-17 18:18
2,458,682.2632 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 58.927622571852°
Longitude of the ascending node node 298.45018102755°
Mean anomaly M 44.170600232643°
Mean motion n 0.14502468°/day

Visualization of Comet 261P/Larson Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 261P/Larson with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 261P/Larson 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 261P/Larson
View Comet 261P/Larson in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 261P/Larson 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 261P/Larson computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 261P/Larson in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2020 Mar 24 04h 26m 35s +23° 58’ 54” 22.38 Taurus
2020 Mar 25 04h 28m 04s +24° 00’ 27” 22.41 Taurus
2020 Mar 26 04h 29m 30s +24° 01’ 59” 22.44 Taurus
2020 Mar 27 04h 30m 59s +24° 03’ 29” 22.47 Taurus
2020 Mar 28 04h 32m 27s +24° 04’ 58” 22.50 Taurus
2020 Mar 29 04h 33m 56s +24° 06’ 24” 22.53 Taurus
2020 Mar 30 04h 35m 25s +24° 07’ 50” 22.56 Taurus
2020 Mar 31 04h 36m 54s +24° 09’ 15” 22.59 Taurus
2020 Apr 01 04h 38m 23s +24° 10’ 38” 22.62 Taurus
2020 Apr 02 04h 39m 54s +24° 11’ 59” 22.65 Taurus
2020 Apr 03 04h 41m 24s +24° 13’ 19” 22.68 Taurus
2020 Apr 04 04h 42m 53s +24° 14’ 38” 22.71 Taurus
2020 Apr 05 04h 44m 24s +24° 15’ 54” 22.74 Taurus
2020 Apr 06 04h 45m 55s +24° 17’ 08” 22.76 Taurus