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Comet 81P/Wild 2

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Comet 81P/Wild 2 Position

Comet 81P/Wild 2 is currently in the constellation of Cetus. The current Right Ascension is 00h 32m 28s and the Declination is +01° 11’ 12”.

00h 32m 28s
+01° 11’ 12”

Simplified sky chart showing where Comet 81P/Wild 2 is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars and constellations (see full screen Online Planetarium)

Map showing Comet 81P/Wild 2 in Cetus on March, 29 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 81P/Wild 2 is right now (view fullscreen)

81P/Wild 2
RA: 00h 32m 28s
Dec: +01° 11’ 12”
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

The distance of Comet 81P/Wild 2 from Earth is currently 929,072,923 kilometers, equivalent to 6.210469 Astronomical Units. Light takes 51 minutes and 39.0537 seconds to travel from Comet 81P/Wild 2 and arrive to us.

51 minutes and 39.0537 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 Sat Apr 5 2042 at a distance of 0.65385245 Astronomical Units, or 97,814,935 kilometers:

Sat Apr 5 2042

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 22.80.


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: 88.8°
Max altitude: 39.7°
Azimuth: 271.2°
Comet 81P/Wild 2 is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom

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 04 September 2011 00:00 UTC (JD: 2455809.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.53707073
Orbit inclination i 3.23724755°
Perihelion distance q 1.59796866 AU
239,052,710 km
Aphelion distance Q 5.30575839 AU
793,730,159 km
Semi-major axis a 3.45186353 AU
516,391,435 km
Orbital period period 6.4100 years
2,342.4960 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2010-Feb-22 13:28:30
2,455,250.0615 JD
Next perihelion transit 2016-Jul-23 01:22
2,457,592.5574 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 41.75623208556°
Longitude of the ascending node node 136.09768554074°
Mean anomaly M 85.975761164276°
Mean motion n 0.15368223°/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
2020 Mar 22 00h 26m 45s +00° 35’ 00” 22.81 Cetus
2020 Mar 23 00h 27m 30s +00° 39’ 51” 22.81 Cetus
2020 Mar 24 00h 28m 17s +00° 44’ 39” 22.81 Cetus
2020 Mar 25 00h 29m 02s +00° 49’ 28” 22.81 Cetus
2020 Mar 26 00h 29m 48s +00° 54’ 18” 22.81 Cetus
2020 Mar 27 00h 30m 33s +00° 59’ 07” 22.81 Cetus
2020 Mar 28 00h 31m 18s +01° 03’ 56” 22.81 Cetus
2020 Mar 29 00h 32m 04s +01° 08’ 44” 22.81 Cetus
2020 Mar 30 00h 32m 50s +01° 13’ 32” 22.80 Cetus
2020 Mar 31 00h 33m 37s +01° 18’ 19” 22.80 Cetus
2020 Apr 01 00h 34m 22s +01° 23’ 05” 22.80 Cetus
2020 Apr 02 00h 35m 08s +01° 27’ 52” 22.80 Cetus
2020 Apr 03 00h 35m 53s +01° 32’ 39” 22.80 Cetus
2020 Apr 04 00h 36m 39s +01° 37’ 23” 22.79 Cetus