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Comet 88P/Howell

Comet 88P/Howell is currently in the constellation of Aries. The current Right Ascension of Comet 88P/Howell is 02h 40m 02s and the Declination is +14° 36’ 20” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 88P/Howell is 18.58 (JPL).

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]:

02h 40m 02s
+14° 36’ 20”

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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 Aries on May, 09 2021
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
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Map showing Comet 88P/Howell in Aries on May, 09 2021
Field of view: 10x6 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]

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: 02h 40m 02s
Dec: +14° 36’ 20”
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 529,008,865 kilometers, equivalent to 3.536206 Astronomical Units. Light takes 29 minutes and 24.5836 seconds to travel from Comet 88P/Howell and arrive to us.

29 minutes and 24.5836 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 0.766119 Astronomical Units, or 114,609,744 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 18.58.


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: 75.4°
Max altitude: 53.2°
Azimuth: 284.7°

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 23 January 2016 00:00 UTC (JD: 2457411.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.56307537
Orbit inclination i 4.38296447°
Perihelion distance q 1.35832023 AU
203,201,814 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.85932072 AU
726,944,034 km
Semi-major axis a 3.10882047 AU
465,072,924 km
Orbital period period 5.4800 years
2,002.1282 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2015-Apr-06 05:15:27
2,457,118.7191 JD
Next perihelion transit 2020-Sep-28 08:20
2,459,120.8473 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 235.89900529013°
Longitude of the ascending node node 56.697671481452°
Mean anomaly M 52.644547178588°
Mean motion n 0.17980866°/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 May 02 02h 27m 53s +13° 33’ 37” 18.48 Aries
2021 May 03 02h 29m 35s +13° 42’ 38” 18.50 Aries
2021 May 04 02h 31m 18s +13° 51’ 34” 18.51 Aries
2021 May 05 02h 33m 01s +14° 00’ 25” 18.52 Aries
2021 May 06 02h 34m 41s +14° 09’ 11” 18.54 Aries
2021 May 07 02h 36m 24s +14° 17’ 53” 18.55 Aries
2021 May 08 02h 38m 04s +14° 26’ 30” 18.57 Aries
2021 May 09 02h 39m 46s +14° 35’ 00” 18.58 Aries
2021 May 10 02h 41m 26s +14° 43’ 27” 18.59 Aries
2021 May 11 02h 43m 06s +14° 51’ 48” 18.61 Aries
2021 May 12 02h 44m 47s +15° 00’ 05” 18.62 Aries
2021 May 13 02h 46m 26s +15° 08’ 17” 18.63 Aries
2021 May 14 02h 48m 06s +15° 16’ 23” 18.65 Aries
2021 May 15 02h 49m 45s +15° 24’ 25” 18.66 Aries