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Comet 78P/Gehrels 2

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Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 Position

Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 is currently in the constellation of Hydra. The current Right Ascension is 09h 20m 50s and the Declination is +06° 11’ 23”.

09h 20m 50s
+06° 11’ 23”

Simplified sky chart showing where Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars and constellations (see full screen Online Planetarium)

Map showing Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 in Hydra on January, 25 2020
Field of view: 60x30 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 showing where Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 is right now (view fullscreen)

78P/Gehrels 2
RA: 09h 20m 50s
Dec: +06° 11’ 23”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 78P/Gehrels 2
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 78P/Gehrels 2?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 Distance

The distance of Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 from Earth is currently 305,865,547 kilometers, equivalent to 2.044585 Astronomical Units. Light takes 17 minutes and 0.2576 seconds to travel from Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 and arrive to us.

17 minutes and 0.2576 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 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 78P/Gehrels 2 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 78P/Gehrels 2 from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100 the closest approach of Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 to Earth happens on Thu Dec 31 2026 at a distance of 1.55825468 Astronomical Units, or 233,111,582 kilometers:

Thu Dec 31 2026

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

Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 is 17.14.


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 78P/Gehrels 2, 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 78P/Gehrels 2 between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 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 78P/Gehrels 2 rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 83.8°
Max altitude: 44.7°
Azimuth: 276.2°
Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 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 78P/Gehrels 2 Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 at epoch 12 March 2014 00:00 UTC (JD: 2456729.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.46194704
Orbit inclination i 6.25402145°
Perihelion distance q 2.01009445 AU
300,705,851 km
Aphelion distance Q 5.46164006 AU
817,049,725 km
Semi-major axis a 3.73586725 AU
558,877,788 km
Orbital period period 7.2200 years
2,637.4582 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2012-Jan-12 11:32:47
2,455,938.9811 JD
Next perihelion transit 2019-Apr-02 22:32
2,458,576.4393 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 192.75474149223°
Longitude of the ascending node node 210.56111531849°
Mean anomaly M 107.90191982137°
Mean motion n 0.13649506°/day

Visualization of Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 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 78P/Gehrels 2
View Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 78P/Gehrels 2 in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2020 Jan 18 09h 26m 42s +05° 46’ 32” 17.06 Hydra
2020 Jan 19 09h 25m 59s +05° 49’ 20” 17.07 Hydra
2020 Jan 20 09h 25m 14s +05° 52’ 18” 17.08 Hydra
2020 Jan 21 09h 24m 29s +05° 55’ 23” 17.09 Hydra
2020 Jan 22 09h 23m 44s +05° 58’ 33” 17.10 Hydra
2020 Jan 23 09h 22m 58s +06° 01’ 54” 17.11 Hydra
2020 Jan 24 09h 22m 10s +06° 05’ 20” 17.12 Hydra
2020 Jan 25 09h 21m 23s +06° 08’ 52” 17.13 Hydra
2020 Jan 26 09h 20m 35s +06° 12’ 32” 17.14 Hydra
2020 Jan 27 09h 19m 46s +06° 16’ 17” 17.15 Hydra
2020 Jan 28 09h 18m 59s +06° 20’ 08” 17.17 Hydra
2020 Jan 29 09h 18m 10s +06° 24’ 06” 17.18 Hydra
2020 Jan 30 09h 17m 21s +06° 28’ 08” 17.19 Hydra
2020 Jan 31 09h 16m 32s +06° 32’ 16” 17.20 Cancer