We use cookies to deliver essential features and to measure their performance. By using this site you accept our Privacy Policies.
A Complete Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
Donate now and help us to keep this site free and ad-free!
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 261P/Larson

Altitude: -16.3°   Azimuth: 259.8°   Direction: West

Comet 261P/Larson is currently in the constellation of Virgo.

The current Right Ascension of Comet 261P/Larson is 14h 14m 47s and the Declination is -18° 57’ 31” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 261P/Larson is 28.72 (JPL).

14h 14m 47s
-18° 57’ 31”

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 261P/Larson from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 108.9°
Max altitude: 19.6°
Azimuth: 251.0°
  • 261P/Larson is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, 261P/Larson 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 261P/Larson Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet 261P/Larson 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 261P/Larson in Virgo on December,06 2023
Map showing Comet 261P/Larson in Virgo on December, 06 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of 261P/Larson
Map showing Comet 261P/Larson in Virgo on December, 06 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Comet 261P/Larson is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 14h 14m 47s
Dec: -18° 57’ 31”
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 from Earth

The distance of Comet 261P/Larson from Earth is currently 782,033,766 kilometers, equivalent to 5.227573 Astronomical Units. Light takes 43 minutes and 28.5839 seconds to travel from Comet 261P/Larson and arrive to us.

43 minutes and 28.5839 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.

Chart of the distance of Comet 261P/Larson 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 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 1 January 2013 and 30 December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 261P/Larson to Earth happens on Sat Sep 1 2091 at a distance of 1.072410 Astronomical Units, or 160,430,263 kilometers:

Sat Sep 1 2091

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

Comet 261P/Larson Brightness and Light Curve

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.

Chart of the magnitude of Comet 261P/Larson as a function of time

Comet 261P/Larson Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 261P/Larson at epoch 09 February 2014 00:00 UTC (JD: 2456698.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.39187691
Orbit inclination i 6.33654627°
Perihelion distance q 2.18415099 AU
326,744,338 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.99910192 AU
747,855,004 km
Semi-major axis a 3.59162646 AU
537,299,671 km
Orbital period period 6.8068 years
2,486.1949 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2012-Sep-30 02:25:52
2,456,200.6013 JD
Next perihelion transit 2019-Jul-22 07:06
2,458,686.7962 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 58.97020034636°
Longitude of the ascending node node 298.42573157465°
Mean anomaly M 72.095526584882°
Mean motion n 0.14479959°/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
2023 Nov 29 14h 07m 51s -18° 18’ 56” 28.80 Virgo
2023 Nov 30 14h 08m 47s -18° 24’ 02” 28.79 Virgo
2023 Dec 01 14h 09m 41s -18° 29’ 08” 28.78 Virgo
2023 Dec 02 14h 10m 36s -18° 34’ 12” 28.77 Virgo
2023 Dec 03 14h 11m 30s -18° 39’ 15” 28.76 Virgo
2023 Dec 04 14h 12m 24s -18° 44’ 17” 28.75 Virgo
2023 Dec 05 14h 13m 18s -18° 49’ 18” 28.74 Virgo
2023 Dec 06 14h 14m 12s -18° 54’ 18” 28.73 Virgo
2023 Dec 07 14h 15m 06s -18° 59’ 17” 28.72 Virgo
2023 Dec 08 14h 16m 00s -19° 04’ 14” 28.71 Virgo
2023 Dec 09 14h 16m 54s -19° 09’ 11” 28.69 Virgo
2023 Dec 10 14h 17m 48s -19° 14’ 07” 28.68 Virgo
2023 Dec 11 14h 18m 41s -19° 19’ 00” 28.67 Virgo
2023 Dec 12 14h 19m 33s -19° 23’ 53” 28.66 Virgo