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Comet 81P/Wild 2

Comet 81P/Wild 2 is currently in the constellation of Aries. The current Right Ascension of Comet 81P/Wild 2 is 02h 26m 38s and the Declination is +11° 46’ 55” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 81P/Wild 2 is 21.62 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet 81P/Wild 2 [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]:

02h 26m 38s
+11° 46’ 55”
Aries
21.62
  • 81P/Wild 2 is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change].
  • It is visible looking in the West-South-West direction at an altitude of 30° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, 81P/Wild 2 is visible only through long exposure photography.
  • See also 81P/Wild 2 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 81P/Wild 2 available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet 81P/Wild 2 Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet 81P/Wild 2 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 81P/Wild 2 in Aries on May, 12 2021
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet 81P/Wild 2 in Aries on May, 12 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 81P/Wild 2 is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

81P/Wild 2
RA: 02h 26m 38s
Dec: +11° 46’ 55”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 81P/Wild 2
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 81P/Wild 2?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 81P/Wild 2 in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 81P/Wild 2 Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 81P/Wild 2 from Earth is currently 787,590,169 kilometers, equivalent to 5.264715 Astronomical Units. Light takes 43 minutes and 47.1180 seconds to travel from Comet 81P/Wild 2 and arrive to us.

787,590,169
5.264715
43 minutes and 47.1180 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 81P/Wild 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 81P/Wild 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 81P/Wild 2 from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet 81P/Wild 2 to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 81P/Wild 2 to Earth happens on Sun Apr 6 2042 at a distance of 0.657590 Astronomical Units, or 98,374,015 kilometers:

Sun Apr 6 2042
98,374,015
0.657590

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

Comet 81P/Wild 2 brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet 81P/Wild 2 is 21.62.

21.62
-
-

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 81P/Wild 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 81P/Wild 2 between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet 81P/Wild 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 81P/Wild 2 rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 78.3°
Max altitude: 50.3°
Azimuth: 281.8°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet 81P/Wild 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 81P/Wild 2 Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 81P/Wild 2 at epoch 16 April 2016 00:00 UTC (JD: 2457495.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.53832872
Orbit inclination i 3.23905943°
Perihelion distance q 1.59213155 AU
238,179,490 km
Aphelion distance Q 5.30512034 AU
793,634,709 km
Semi-major axis a 3.44862595 AU
515,907,099 km
Orbital period period 6.4000 years
2,339.2011 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2016-Jul-20 07:41:49
2,457,589.8207 JD
Next perihelion transit 2022-Dec-15 12:31
2,459,929.0218 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 41.706629016823°
Longitude of the ascending node node 136.124778698°
Mean anomaly M 345.4841658361°
Mean motion n 0.15389869°/day

Visualization of Comet 81P/Wild 2 Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 81P/Wild 2 with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 81P/Wild 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 81P/Wild 2
View Comet 81P/Wild 2 in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 81P/Wild 2 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 81P/Wild 2 computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 81P/Wild 2 in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2021 May 05 02h 19m 14s +11° 10’ 35” 21.69 Aries
2021 May 06 02h 20m 12s +11° 15’ 25” 21.68 Aries
2021 May 07 02h 21m 11s +11° 20’ 15” 21.67 Aries
2021 May 08 02h 22m 09s +11° 25’ 03” 21.67 Aries
2021 May 09 02h 23m 07s +11° 29’ 49” 21.66 Aries
2021 May 10 02h 24m 06s +11° 34’ 36” 21.65 Aries
2021 May 11 02h 25m 04s +11° 39’ 20” 21.64 Aries
2021 May 12 02h 26m 03s +11° 44’ 03” 21.63 Aries
2021 May 13 02h 27m 01s +11° 48’ 44” 21.62 Aries
2021 May 14 02h 28m 00s +11° 53’ 26” 21.62 Aries
2021 May 15 02h 28m 58s +11° 58’ 05” 21.61 Aries
2021 May 16 02h 29m 57s +12° 02’ 43” 21.60 Aries
2021 May 17 02h 30m 55s +12° 07’ 19” 21.59 Aries
2021 May 18 02h 31m 54s +12° 11’ 54” 21.58 Aries