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Comet 88P/Howell

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Comet 88P/Howell Position

Comet 88P/Howell is currently in the constellation of Virgo. The current Right Ascension is 13h 31m 45s and the Declination is -04° 11’ 46”.

13h 31m 45s
-04° 11’ 46”

Simplified sky chart showing where Comet 88P/Howell is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars and constellations (see full screen Online Planetarium)

Map showing Comet 88P/Howell in Virgo on March, 28 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 88P/Howell is right now (view fullscreen)

RA: 13h 31m 45s
Dec: -04° 11’ 46”
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

The distance of Comet 88P/Howell from Earth is currently 191,893,975 kilometers, equivalent to 1.282732 Astronomical Units. Light takes 10 minutes and 40.0894 seconds to travel from Comet 88P/Howell and arrive to us.

10 minutes and 40.0894 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 Tue Jun 3 2042 at a distance of 0.76196378 Astronomical Units, or 113,988,160 kilometers:

Tue Jun 3 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 14.47.


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: 94.2°
Max altitude: 34.3°
Azimuth: 265.8°
Comet 88P/Howell 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 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 24 December 2015 00:00 UTC (JD: 2457381.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.56306784
Orbit inclination i 4.38296100°
Perihelion distance q 1.35839139 AU
203,212,460 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.85946805 AU
726,966,075 km
Semi-major axis a 3.10892972 AU
465,089,267 km
Orbital period period 5.4800 years
2,002.2338 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2015-Apr-06 05:15:48
2,457,118.7193 JD
Next perihelion transit 2020-Sep-28 10:52
2,459,120.9531 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 235.90314603082°
Longitude of the ascending node node 56.697130323828°
Mean anomaly M 47.247753320348°
Mean motion n 0.17979918°/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
2020 Mar 21 13h 37m 00s -04° 42’ 28” 14.78 Virgo
2020 Mar 22 13h 36m 23s -04° 38’ 38” 14.73 Virgo
2020 Mar 23 13h 35m 43s -04° 34’ 40” 14.69 Virgo
2020 Mar 24 13h 35m 03s -04° 30’ 35” 14.65 Virgo
2020 Mar 25 13h 34m 19s -04° 26’ 26” 14.61 Virgo
2020 Mar 26 13h 33m 36s -04° 22’ 09” 14.57 Virgo
2020 Mar 27 13h 32m 49s -04° 17’ 47” 14.52 Virgo
2020 Mar 28 13h 32m 02s -04° 13’ 18” 14.48 Virgo
2020 Mar 29 13h 31m 13s -04° 08’ 45” 14.44 Virgo
2020 Mar 30 13h 30m 23s -04° 04’ 08” 14.40 Virgo
2020 Mar 31 13h 29m 30s -03° 59’ 26” 14.36 Virgo
2020 Apr 01 13h 28m 36s -03° 54’ 38” 14.32 Virgo
2020 Apr 02 13h 27m 42s -03° 49’ 48” 14.28 Virgo
2020 Apr 03 13h 26m 45s -03° 44’ 53” 14.24 Virgo