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🌎 Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet 88P/Howell

Comet 88P/Howell is currently in the constellation of Aquarius. The current Right Ascension of Comet 88P/Howell is 23h 00m 40s and the Declination is -09° 09’ 43” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 88P/Howell is 16.40 (JPL) while the latest observed magnitude is 11.4 (COBS).

Summary of key facts about Comet 88P/Howell [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]:

23h 00m 40s
-09° 09’ 43”
  • 88P/Howell is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change].
  • It is visible looking in the South-South-West direction at an altitude of 26° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, 88P/Howell is visible with the help of a telescope havng an aperture of 6 inches (150mm) or more.
  • See also 88P/Howell 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 88P/Howell available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet 88P/Howell Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet 88P/Howell 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 88P/Howell in Aquarius on January, 18 2021
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
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Map showing Comet 88P/Howell in Aquarius on January, 18 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 88P/Howell is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 23h 00m 40s
Dec: -09° 09’ 43”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 88P/Howell
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 88P/Howell?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 88P/Howell in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 88P/Howell Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 88P/Howell from Earth is currently 355,642,180 kilometers, equivalent to 2.377321 Astronomical Units. Light takes 19 minutes and 46.2946 seconds to travel from Comet 88P/Howell and arrive to us.

19 minutes and 46.2946 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 88P/Howell 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 88P/Howell 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 88P/Howell from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet 88P/Howell to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 88P/Howell to Earth happens on Mon Jun 2 2042 at a distance of 0.766147 Astronomical Units, or 114,613,924 kilometers:

Mon Jun 2 2042

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

Comet 88P/Howell brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet 88P/Howell is 16.40.


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 88P/Howell, 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 88P/Howell between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet 88P/Howell 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 88P/Howell rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 99.2°
Max altitude: 29.3°
Azimuth: 260.9°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet 88P/Howell 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 88P/Howell Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 88P/Howell at epoch 31 October 2015 00:00 UTC (JD: 2457327.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.56306906
Orbit inclination i 4.38280258°
Perihelion distance q 1.35847589 AU
203,225,101 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.85978779 AU
727,013,907 km
Semi-major axis a 3.10913184 AU
465,119,504 km
Orbital period period 5.4800 years
2,002.4290 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2015-Apr-06 05:22:14
2,457,118.7238 JD
Next perihelion transit 2020-Sep-28 15:40
2,459,121.1528 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 235.90778971893°
Longitude of the ascending node node 56.698103534715°
Mean anomaly M 37.534134814566°
Mean motion n 0.17978165°/day

Visualization of Comet 88P/Howell Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 88P/Howell with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 88P/Howell 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 88P/Howell
View Comet 88P/Howell in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 88P/Howell 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 88P/Howell computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 88P/Howell in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2021 Jan 11 22h 41m 18s -11° 17’ 39” 16.20 Aquarius
2021 Jan 12 22h 43m 53s -11° 00’ 57” 16.23 Aquarius
2021 Jan 13 22h 46m 26s -10° 44’ 17” 16.25 Aquarius
2021 Jan 14 22h 48m 57s -10° 27’ 37” 16.28 Aquarius
2021 Jan 15 22h 51m 29s -10° 10’ 56” 16.30 Aquarius
2021 Jan 16 22h 53m 59s -09° 54’ 19” 16.33 Aquarius
2021 Jan 17 22h 56m 30s -09° 37’ 41” 16.36 Aquarius
2021 Jan 18 22h 58m 59s -09° 21’ 06” 16.38 Aquarius
2021 Jan 19 23h 01m 26s -09° 04’ 33” 16.41 Aquarius
2021 Jan 20 23h 03m 52s -08° 48’ 02” 16.43 Aquarius
2021 Jan 21 23h 06m 20s -08° 31’ 32” 16.46 Aquarius
2021 Jan 22 23h 08m 44s -08° 15’ 03” 16.48 Aquarius
2021 Jan 23 23h 11m 08s -07° 58’ 37” 16.51 Aquarius
2021 Jan 24 23h 13m 32s -07° 42’ 14” 16.53 Aquarius