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.
The current Right Ascension of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is 08h 43m 01s and the Declination is +20° 29’ 10” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom ). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is 17.37 (JPL) while the latest observed magnitude is 15.0 (COBS).
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.
- 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom .
- Right now it is placed in the East-North-East direction at an altitude of 3° above the horizon.
- Given its current magnitude, 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is visible with the help of a telescope having an aperture of 20 inches (500mm) or more.
- Go to interactive sky chart
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Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann Position and Finder Charts
Below we provide Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 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.
Higher 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.
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.
Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann Distance from Earth
The distance of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann from Earth is currently 830,094,553 kilometers, equivalent to 5.548839 Astronomical Units. Light takes 46 minutes and 8.8974 seconds to travel from Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann and arrive to us.
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.
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 of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann to Earth
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:
NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.
Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann Brightness and 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.
Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann Orbital Elements
|Perihelion distance||q||5.77653321 AU
|Date of perihelion transit||Tp||2019-Apr-19 19:00:43
|Next perihelion transit||2034-Mar-03 08:53
|Argument of perihelion||peri||50.913318057458°|
|Longitude of the ascending node||node||312.39414949962°|
Visualization of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann Orbit
This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 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 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 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. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.
|2023 Nov 27||08h 43m 49s||+20° 28’ 54”||17.42||Cancer|
|2023 Nov 28||08h 43m 45s||+20° 28’ 48”||17.41||Cancer|
|2023 Nov 29||08h 43m 40s||+20° 28’ 45”||17.40||Cancer|
|2023 Nov 30||08h 43m 35s||+20° 28’ 44”||17.40||Cancer|
|2023 Dec 01||08h 43m 29s||+20° 28’ 45”||17.39||Cancer|
|2023 Dec 02||08h 43m 23s||+20° 28’ 49”||17.39||Cancer|
|2023 Dec 03||08h 43m 15s||+20° 28’ 54”||17.38||Cancer|
|2023 Dec 04||08h 43m 08s||+20° 29’ 03”||17.38||Cancer|
|2023 Dec 05||08h 43m 00s||+20° 29’ 13”||17.37||Cancer|
|2023 Dec 06||08h 42m 50s||+20° 29’ 26”||17.37||Cancer|
|2023 Dec 07||08h 42m 39s||+20° 29’ 42”||17.36||Cancer|
|2023 Dec 08||08h 42m 29s||+20° 29’ 58”||17.36||Cancer|
|2023 Dec 09||08h 42m 19s||+20° 30’ 17”||17.35||Cancer|
|2023 Dec 10||08h 42m 06s||+20° 30’ 38”||17.35||Cancer|