Your Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 4:46  
clear_day Transit: 12:56  
SunsetSet: 21:07 south
sunny DaytimeWhat's Visible Now
Comets » 

Comet 8P/Tuttle

Altitude: -27.9°   Azimuth: 102.0°   Direction: East-South-East

Comet 8P/Tuttle is a periodic comet that orbits the Sun once every 13.6 years. It was discovered by American astronomer Horace Parnell Tuttle on May 3, 1858. The comet has a highly elliptical orbit, with an aphelion distance of about 10.4 AU and a perihelion distance of about 1.02 AU. It was originally classified as a Jupiter-family comet (even though it does not fit the most modern classification criteria), meaning its orbit is strongly influenced by the gravity of Jupiter.

Comet 8P/Tuttle is currently in the constellation of Sagittarius. The current Right Ascension of Comet 8P/Tuttle is 17h 59m 06s and the Declination is -28° 42’ 39” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 8P/Tuttle is 21.61 (JPL).

17h 59m 06s
-28° 42’ 39”

The observed values of Magnitude, Coma Diameter and Tail Length are derived from the most recent observation recorded at the Comet Observers Database. The value of Predicted Magnitude comes from the JPL Horizons ephemerides service and, in the case of comets, might be inaccurate given the highly dynamic and unpredictable behavior of these objects. When available, please refer to the Observed Magnitude value and consider the Predicted 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.

Today's rise, transit and set times of Comet 8P/Tuttle from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 118.7°
Max altitude: 9.8°
Azimuth: 241.3°
  • 8P/Tuttle is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, 8P/Tuttle is visible only through long exposure photography.
  • Go to interactive sky chart

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Available Resources

Comet 8P/Tuttle Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet 8P/Tuttle 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.

Finder chart of 8P/Tuttle in Sagittarius on June,04 2023
Map showing Comet 8P/Tuttle in Sagittarius on June, 04 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of 8P/Tuttle
Map showing Comet 8P/Tuttle in Sagittarius on June, 04 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Comet 8P/Tuttle is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 17h 59m 06s
Dec: -28° 42’ 39”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 8P/Tuttle
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 8P/Tuttle?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 8P/Tuttle in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 8P/Tuttle Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 8P/Tuttle from Earth is currently 751,510,374 kilometers, equivalent to 5.023537 Astronomical Units. Light takes 41 minutes and 46.7688 seconds to travel from Comet 8P/Tuttle and arrive to us.

41 minutes and 46.7688 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 8P/Tuttle 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.

Chart of the distance of Comet 8P/Tuttle from Earth in Astronomical Units (au)

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 8P/Tuttle from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of Comet 8P/Tuttle to Earth

Between 1 January 2013 and 30 December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 8P/Tuttle to Earth happens on Mon Dec 28 2048 at a distance of 0.175435 Astronomical Units, or 26,244,724 kilometers:

Mon Dec 28 2048

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

Comet 8P/Tuttle Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Comet 8P/Tuttle, 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.

Chart of the magnitude of Comet 8P/Tuttle as a function of time

Comet 8P/Tuttle Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 8P/Tuttle at epoch 22 August 2008 00:00 UTC (JD: 2454701.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.81978762
Orbit inclination i 54.98196883°
Perihelion distance q 1.02726309 AU
153,676,372 km
Aphelion distance Q 10.37331963 AU
1,551,826,532 km
Semi-major axis a 5.70029136 AU
852,751,452 km
Orbital period period 13.6099 years
4,971.0028 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2008-Jan-27 00:25:56
2,454,492.5180 JD
Next perihelion transit 2021-Sep-06 00:29
2,459,463.5208 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 207.51151750851°
Longitude of the ascending node node 270.34216157066°
Mean anomaly M 15.13447433004°
Mean motion n 0.07242000°/day

Visualization of Comet 8P/Tuttle Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 8P/Tuttle with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 8P/Tuttle 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!

Comet 8P/Tuttle 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 8P/Tuttle computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 8P/Tuttle in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 May 28 18h 04m 44s -28° 56’ 56” 21.59 Sagittarius
2023 May 29 18h 04m 01s -28° 55’ 12” 21.60 Sagittarius
2023 May 30 18h 03m 19s -28° 53’ 26” 21.60 Sagittarius
2023 May 31 18h 02m 35s -28° 51’ 38” 21.60 Sagittarius
2023 Jun 01 18h 01m 51s -28° 49’ 49” 21.60 Sagittarius
2023 Jun 02 18h 01m 09s -28° 47’ 57” 21.60 Sagittarius
2023 Jun 03 18h 00m 24s -28° 46’ 04” 21.60 Sagittarius
2023 Jun 04 17h 59m 40s -28° 44’ 08” 21.61 Sagittarius
2023 Jun 05 17h 58m 55s -28° 42’ 11” 21.61 Sagittarius
2023 Jun 06 17h 58m 11s -28° 40’ 12” 21.61 Sagittarius
2023 Jun 07 17h 57m 26s -28° 38’ 11” 21.61 Sagittarius
2023 Jun 08 17h 56m 42s -28° 36’ 07” 21.62 Sagittarius
2023 Jun 09 17h 55m 57s -28° 34’ 02” 21.62 Sagittarius
2023 Jun 10 17h 55m 12s -28° 31’ 56” 21.62 Sagittarius