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public LocationGreenwich, UK
Sunrise: 5:14 
Transit: 13:06 
Sunset: 20:58
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Comets » 

Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann

Above the horizon.  Rise: 6:25 | Tran: 13:51 | Set: 21:16
Alt: 55.03°   Az: 183.37°   Direction: South

Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is in the constellation of Cancer, at a distance of 1,078,959,806.0 kilometers from Earth. The current Right Ascension is 09h 02m 17s and the Declination is +16° 32’ 47” (apparent coordinates). The predicted magnitude of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is 17.96 (data provided by JPL Horizons).

Finder chart of 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann in Cancer on July,24 2024
Map showing Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann in Cancer on July, 24 2024. Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View interactive star map

Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is a periodic comet discovered on November 15, 1927 by German astronomers Arnold Schwassmann and Arno Wachmann. It is also known as Comet Schwassmann–Wachmann 1. It moves along a low eccentricity orbit between Jupiter and Saturn, that takes it from a perihelion distance of 5.8 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun to an aphelion distance of 6.3 AU. It completes one orbit around the Sun every 14.9 years. Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is also known for its unpredictable outbursts which, in the space of few hours, can cause it to brighten significantly, up to 5 magnitudes.

Celestial Coordinates


09h 02m 17s
+16° 32’ 47”
00h 08m 02s
09h 10m 20s


09h 00m 55s
+16° 38’ 37”

Additional Information


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.

Rise and Set Times

Today's rise, transit and set times of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann from Greenwich, UK (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 73.4°
Max altitude: 55.1°
Azimuth: 286.5°
  • 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is above the horizon from Greenwich, UK.
  • Right now it is placed in the South direction at an altitude of 55.03° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 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.

Finder Charts

Finder chart of 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann
Sky map showing Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann in Cancer on July, 24 2024. Field of view: 10x6 degrees. View in interactive sky chart

High precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 09h 00m 55s
Dec: +16° 38’ 37”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann. Field of view: 60x40 arcmins. View in deep sky object tracker

Also check out Where is Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann from Earth is currently 1,078,959,806.0 kilometers, equivalent to 7.2124008246 Astronomical Units. Light takes 59m 59.023s to travel from Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann and arrive to us.

59m 59.023s

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 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 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 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 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach

Between 1 January 2013 and 30 December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann to Earth happens on Fri Oct 13 2034 at a distance of 4.725860 Astronomical Units, or 706,978,666 kilometers:

Fri Oct 13 2034

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

Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, 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 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann as a function of time

Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann at epoch 31 December 2022 00:00 UTC (JD: 2459945.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.04475336
Orbit inclination i 9.36406979°
Perihelion distance q 5.77653321 AU
864,157,070 km
Aphelion distance Q 6.31779504 AU
945,128,688 km
Semi-major axis a 6.04716413 AU
904,642,879 km
Orbital period period 14.8709 years
5,431.5785 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2019-Apr-19 19:00:43
2,458,593.2922 JD
Next perihelion transit 2034-Mar-03 08:53
2,464,024.8707 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 50.913318057458°
Longitude of the ascending node node 312.39414949962°
Mean anomaly M 89.623084588802°
Mean motion n 0.06627908°/day

Orbit Visualization

Orbit Diagram of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann
View Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann in the 3D Solar System Simulator

15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Apparent celestial coordinates are provided.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2024 Jul 17 08h 56m 47s +16° 59’ 56” 17.95 Cancer
2024 Jul 18 08h 57m 31s +16° 56’ 23” 17.95 Cancer
2024 Jul 19 08h 58m 14s +16° 52’ 49” 17.96 Cancer
2024 Jul 20 08h 58m 58s +16° 49’ 14” 17.96 Cancer
2024 Jul 21 08h 59m 42s +16° 45’ 38” 17.96 Cancer
2024 Jul 22 09h 00m 26s +16° 42’ 02” 17.96 Cancer
2024 Jul 23 09h 01m 10s +16° 38’ 24” 17.96 Cancer
2024 Jul 24 09h 01m 54s +16° 34’ 46” 17.96 Cancer
2024 Jul 25 09h 02m 37s +16° 31’ 06” 17.96 Cancer
2024 Jul 26 09h 03m 21s +16° 27’ 26” 17.96 Cancer
2024 Jul 27 09h 04m 05s +16° 23’ 45” 17.96 Cancer
2024 Jul 28 09h 04m 50s +16° 20’ 02” 17.97 Cancer
2024 Jul 29 09h 05m 34s +16° 16’ 19” 17.97 Cancer
2024 Jul 30 09h 06m 18s +16° 12’ 36” 17.97 Cancer

Additional Resources