Your guide to the Solar System and the night sky
🌎 Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet 88P/Howell

Comet 88P/Howell is currently in the constellation of Sagittarius. The current Right Ascension of Comet 88P/Howell is 18h 12m 31s and the Declination is -27° 18’ 38” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 88P/Howell is 14.82 (JPL) while the latest observed magnitude is 9.3 (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]:

18h 12m 31s
-27° 18’ 38”

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 Sagittarius on October, 22 2020
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet 88P/Howell in Sagittarius on October, 22 2020
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: 18h 12m 31s
Dec: -27° 18’ 38”
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 225,842,999 kilometers, equivalent to 1.509667 Astronomical Units. Light takes 12 minutes and 33.3312 seconds to travel from Comet 88P/Howell and arrive to us.

12 minutes and 33.3312 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 0.765989 Astronomical Units, or 114,590,372 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 14.82.


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: 117.3°
Max altitude: 11.2°
Azimuth: 242.7°

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 13 July 2015 00:00 UTC (JD: 2457217.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.56307384
Orbit inclination i 4.38270493°
Perihelion distance q 1.35854790 AU
203,235,873 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.86011340 AU
727,062,617 km
Semi-major axis a 3.10933065 AU
465,149,245 km
Orbital period period 5.4800 years
2,002.6211 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2015-Apr-06 05:30:36
2,457,118.7296 JD
Next perihelion transit 2020-Sep-28 20:24
2,459,121.3507 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 235.91304945107°
Longitude of the ascending node node 56.698837233°
Mean anomaly M 17.755405446046°
Mean motion n 0.17976441°/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 Oct 15 17h 41m 07s -27° 12’ 28” 14.72 Ophiucus
2020 Oct 16 17h 45m 06s -27° 14’ 39” 14.74 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 17 17h 49m 04s -27° 16’ 27” 14.75 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 18 17h 53m 03s -27° 17’ 48” 14.76 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 19 17h 57m 02s -27° 18’ 46” 14.77 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 20 18h 01m 01s -27° 19’ 18” 14.78 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 21 18h 05m 02s -27° 19’ 26” 14.79 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 22 18h 09m 01s -27° 19’ 09” 14.81 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 23 18h 13m 00s -27° 18’ 27” 14.82 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 24 18h 16m 59s -27° 17’ 20” 14.83 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 25 18h 21m 00s -27° 15’ 47” 14.85 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 26 18h 24m 59s -27° 13’ 51” 14.86 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 27 18h 28m 58s -27° 11’ 30” 14.87 Sagittarius
2020 Oct 28 18h 32m 56s -27° 08’ 44” 14.89 Sagittarius