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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 Aquarius. The current Right Ascension is 23h 37m 19s and the Declination is -05° 17’ 59”.

23h 37m 19s
-05° 17’ 59”

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

Map showing Comet 81P/Wild 2 in Aquarius on October, 21 2019
Field of view: 60x30 degrees
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 = visible to the naked eye
 = binocular, brighter than 10th magnitude
= current altitude ≥ 30°   = current altitude < 30°   = below the horizon
Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Hihgher precision deep sky finder chart showing where Comet 81P/Wild 2 is right now (view fullscreen)

81P/Wild 2
RA: 23h 37m 19s
Dec: -05° 17’ 59”
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 666,121,138 kilometers, equivalent to 4.452745 Astronomical Units. Light takes 37 minutes and 1.9409 seconds to travel from Comet 81P/Wild 2 and arrive to us.

37 minutes and 1.9409 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 97,814,934 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 22.19.


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 behvior 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: 95.3°
Max altitude: 33.2°
Azimuth: 264.7°
Comet 81P/Wild 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 81P/Wild 2 touches the horizon, consideting the effect of the atmospheric refraction. As the atmoshpere 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
2019 Oct 14 23h 40m 38s -04° 57’ 33” 22.16 Aquarius
2019 Oct 15 23h 40m 09s -05° 00’ 37” 22.16 Aquarius
2019 Oct 16 23h 39m 41s -05° 03’ 35” 22.16 Aquarius
2019 Oct 17 23h 39m 11s -05° 06’ 32” 22.17 Aquarius
2019 Oct 18 23h 38m 44s -05° 09’ 24” 22.17 Aquarius
2019 Oct 19 23h 38m 17s -05° 12’ 11” 22.18 Aquarius
2019 Oct 20 23h 37m 50s -05° 14’ 54” 22.18 Aquarius
2019 Oct 21 23h 37m 23s -05° 17’ 34” 22.19 Aquarius
2019 Oct 22 23h 36m 57s -05° 20’ 09” 22.19 Aquarius
2019 Oct 23 23h 36m 32s -05° 22’ 41” 22.19 Aquarius
2019 Oct 24 23h 36m 07s -05° 25’ 06” 22.20 Aquarius
2019 Oct 25 23h 35m 44s -05° 27’ 29” 22.20 Aquarius
2019 Oct 26 23h 35m 20s -05° 29’ 47” 22.21 Aquarius
2019 Oct 27 23h 34m 56s -05° 31’ 59” 22.21 Aquarius