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: 7:52  
clear_day Transit: 11:51  
SunsetSet: 15:49 south
wb_twilight Nautical TwilightWhat's Visible Now?
Comets » 

Comet 48P/Johnson

Altitude: 23.3°   Azimuth: 134.8°   Direction: South-East

Comet 48P/Johnson is currently in the constellation of Virgo.

The current Right Ascension of Comet 48P/Johnson is 14h 43m 03s and the Declination is -05° 20’ 00” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 48P/Johnson is 21.12 (JPL).

14h 43m 03s
-05° 20’ 00”

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 48P/Johnson from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 95.3°
Max altitude: 33.2°
Azimuth: 264.6°
  • 48P/Johnson is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Right now it is placed in the South-East direction at an altitude of 23° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, 48P/Johnson 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 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.

Finder chart of 48P/Johnson in Virgo on December,10 2023
Map showing Comet 48P/Johnson in Virgo on December, 10 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of 48P/Johnson
Map showing Comet 48P/Johnson in Virgo on December, 10 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

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: 14h 43m 03s
Dec: -05° 20’ 00”
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 638,134,497 kilometers, equivalent to 4.265666 Astronomical Units. Light takes 35 minutes and 28.5876 seconds to travel from Comet 48P/Johnson and arrive to us.

35 minutes and 28.5876 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.

Chart of the distance of Comet 48P/Johnson 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 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 1 January 2013 and 30 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 141,946,997 kilometers:

Wed Aug 30 2084

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

Comet 48P/Johnson Brightness and Light Curve

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.

Chart of the magnitude of Comet 48P/Johnson as a function of time

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 6.9505 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
2023 Dec 03 14h 34m 29s -04° 44’ 40” 21.22 Virgo
2023 Dec 04 14h 35m 39s -04° 49’ 41” 21.20 Virgo
2023 Dec 05 14h 36m 51s -04° 54’ 39” 21.19 Virgo
2023 Dec 06 14h 38m 02s -04° 59’ 34” 21.18 Virgo
2023 Dec 07 14h 39m 12s -05° 04’ 24” 21.16 Virgo
2023 Dec 08 14h 40m 23s -05° 09’ 14” 21.15 Virgo
2023 Dec 09 14h 41m 34s -05° 13’ 58” 21.14 Virgo
2023 Dec 10 14h 42m 43s -05° 18’ 39” 21.12 Virgo
2023 Dec 11 14h 43m 54s -05° 23’ 17” 21.11 Virgo
2023 Dec 12 14h 45m 05s -05° 27’ 51” 21.09 Virgo
2023 Dec 13 14h 46m 14s -05° 32’ 24” 21.08 Virgo
2023 Dec 14 14h 47m 26s -05° 36’ 51” 21.06 Libra
2023 Dec 15 14h 48m 36s -05° 41’ 14” 21.05 Libra
2023 Dec 16 14h 49m 45s -05° 45’ 35” 21.04 Libra