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Comet 48P/Johnson

Comet 48P/Johnson is currently in the constellation of Cancer. The current Right Ascension of Comet 48P/Johnson is 08h 18m 45s and the Declination is +24° 22’ 36” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 48P/Johnson is 23.69 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet 48P/Johnson [tip: you can also create a Quick Access page for this data if you access it frequently and would like to have a simpler view]:

08h 18m 45s
+24° 22’ 36”
  • 48P/Johnson is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change].
  • It is visible looking in the South-East direction at an altitude of 55° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, 48P/Johnson is visible only through long exposure photography.
  • See also 48P/Johnson rise and set times.
  • 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.

Additional information about Comet 48P/Johnson available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet 48P/Johnson Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet 48P/Johnson 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.

Map showing Comet 48P/Johnson in Cancer on May, 06 2021
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet 48P/Johnson in Cancer on May, 06 2021
Field of view: 10x6 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, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Comet 48P/Johnson is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 08h 18m 45s
Dec: +24° 22’ 36”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 48P/Johnson
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 48P/Johnson?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 48P/Johnson in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 48P/Johnson Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 48P/Johnson from Earth is currently 756,051,426 kilometers, equivalent to 5.053892 Astronomical Units. Light takes 42 minutes and 1.9161 seconds to travel from Comet 48P/Johnson and arrive to us.

42 minutes and 1.9161 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 48P/Johnson 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 48P/Johnson 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 48P/Johnson from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet 48P/Johnson to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 48P/Johnson to Earth happens on Wed Aug 30 2084 at a distance of 0.948857 Astronomical Units, or 141,947,009 kilometers:

Wed Aug 30 2084

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

Comet 48P/Johnson brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet 48P/Johnson is 23.69.


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 48P/Johnson, 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 48P/Johnson between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet 48P/Johnson 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 48P/Johnson rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 65.6°
Max altitude: 62.9°
Azimuth: 294.4°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet 48P/Johnson 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 48P/Johnson Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 48P/Johnson at epoch 31 January 2010 00:00 UTC (JD: 2455228.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.36781174
Orbit inclination i 13.66068839°
Perihelion distance q 2.30241851 AU
344,436,907 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.98154627 AU
745,228,716 km
Semi-major axis a 3.64198239 AU
544,832,812 km
Orbital period period 6.9500 years
2,538.6638 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2011-Sep-28 23:16:27
2,455,833.4698 JD
Next perihelion transit 2018-Sep-10 15:12
2,458,372.1336 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 207.82662175901°
Longitude of the ascending node node 117.28849572924°
Mean anomaly M 274.21112405513°
Mean motion n 0.14180688°/day

Visualization of Comet 48P/Johnson Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 48P/Johnson with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 48P/Johnson 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 48P/Johnson
View Comet 48P/Johnson in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 48P/Johnson 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 48P/Johnson computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 48P/Johnson in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2021 Apr 29 08h 15m 23s +24° 33’ 47” 23.62 Cancer
2021 Apr 30 08h 15m 47s +24° 32’ 26” 23.63 Cancer
2021 May 01 08h 16m 13s +24° 31’ 04” 23.64 Cancer
2021 May 02 08h 16m 37s +24° 29’ 39” 23.65 Cancer
2021 May 03 08h 17m 04s +24° 28’ 11” 23.65 Cancer
2021 May 04 08h 17m 31s +24° 26’ 43” 23.66 Cancer
2021 May 05 08h 17m 58s +24° 25’ 12” 23.67 Cancer
2021 May 06 08h 18m 26s +24° 23’ 38” 23.68 Cancer
2021 May 07 08h 18m 56s +24° 22’ 02” 23.69 Cancer
2021 May 08 08h 19m 26s +24° 20’ 25” 23.70 Cancer
2021 May 09 08h 19m 55s +24° 18’ 46” 23.71 Cancer
2021 May 10 08h 20m 26s +24° 17’ 03” 23.71 Cancer
2021 May 11 08h 20m 57s +24° 15’ 20” 23.72 Cancer
2021 May 12 08h 21m 29s +24° 13’ 35” 23.73 Cancer