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public LocationGreenwich, UK
Sunrise: 5:11 
Transit: 13:06 
Sunset: 21:00
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Comets » 

Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma

Below the horizon.  Rise: 15:06 | Tran: 20:14 | Set: 1:25
Alt: -48.44°   Az: 4.26°   Direction: North

Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma is in the constellation of Libra, at a distance of 1,937,350,863.0 kilometers from Earth. The current Right Ascension is 15h 18m 18s and the Declination is -09° 58’ 58” (apparent coordinates). The predicted magnitude of Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma is 27.75 (data provided by JPL Horizons).

Finder chart of 38P/Stephan-Oterma in Libra on July,22 2024
Map showing Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma in Libra on July, 22 2024. Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View interactive star map

Celestial Coordinates


15h 18m 18s
-09° 58’ 58”
12h 11m 28s
03h 29m 46s


15h 16m 58s
-09° 53’ 38”

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 38P/Stephan-Oterma from Greenwich, UK (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 100.0°
Max altitude: 28.5°
Azimuth: 260.0°
  • 38P/Stephan-Oterma is below the horizon from Greenwich, UK.
  • Given its current magnitude, 38P/Stephan-Oterma 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 38P/Stephan-Oterma
Sky map showing Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma in Libra on July, 22 2024. Field of view: 10x6 degrees. View in interactive sky chart

High precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 15h 16m 58s
Dec: -09° 53’ 38”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma. Field of view: 60x40 arcmins. View in deep sky object tracker

Also check out Where is Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma from Earth is currently 1,937,350,863.0 kilometers, equivalent to 12.9503906301 Astronomical Units. Light takes 1h 47m 42.307s to travel from Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma and arrive to us.

1h 47m 42.307s

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma 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 38P/Stephan-Oterma 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 38P/Stephan-Oterma 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 38P/Stephan-Oterma to Earth happens on Mon Dec 17 2018 at a distance of 0.765727 Astronomical Units, or 114,551,111 kilometers:

Mon Dec 17 2018

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 38P/Stephan-Oterma, 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 38P/Stephan-Oterma as a function of time

Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma at epoch 23 May 2018 00:00 UTC (JD: 2458262.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.85928629
Orbit inclination i 18.35294652°
Perihelion distance q 1.58850505 AU
237,636,973 km
Aphelion distance Q 20.98932339 AU
3,139,958,093 km
Semi-major axis a 11.28891422 AU
1,688,797,533 km
Orbital period period 37.9303 years
13,854.0479 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2018-Nov-10 23:41:46
2,458,433.4873 JD
Next perihelion transit 2056-Oct-16 00:50
2,472,287.5353 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 359.58867655349°
Longitude of the ascending node node 78.000364192787°
Mean anomaly M 355.55686223202°
Mean motion n 0.02598519°/day

Orbit Visualization

Orbit Diagram of Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma
View Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma in the 3D Solar System Simulator

15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma 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 15 15h 18m 56s -09° 55’ 51” 27.72 Libra
2024 Jul 16 15h 18m 50s -09° 56’ 13” 27.72 Libra
2024 Jul 17 15h 18m 44s -09° 56’ 35” 27.72 Libra
2024 Jul 18 15h 18m 38s -09° 57’ 00” 27.73 Libra
2024 Jul 19 15h 18m 33s -09° 57’ 26” 27.73 Libra
2024 Jul 20 15h 18m 28s -09° 57’ 52” 27.74 Libra
2024 Jul 21 15h 18m 23s -09° 58’ 20” 27.74 Libra
2024 Jul 22 15h 18m 19s -09° 58’ 49” 27.75 Libra
2024 Jul 23 15h 18m 15s -09° 59’ 19” 27.75 Libra
2024 Jul 24 15h 18m 11s -09° 59’ 51” 27.75 Libra
2024 Jul 25 15h 18m 07s -10° 00’ 23” 27.76 Libra
2024 Jul 26 15h 18m 04s -10° 00’ 58” 27.76 Libra
2024 Jul 27 15h 18m 01s -10° 01’ 33” 27.77 Libra
2024 Jul 28 15h 17m 58s -10° 02’ 10” 27.77 Libra

Additional Resources