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🌎  Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet 96P/Machholz 1

Comet 96P/Machholz 1 is currently in the constellation of Sagittarius. The current Right Ascension of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 is 19h 43m 41s and the Declination is -38° 22’ 00” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 is 24.26 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet 96P/Machholz 1 [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]:

19h 43m 41s
-38° 22’ 00”

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Additional information about Comet 96P/Machholz 1 available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet 96P/Machholz 1 Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet 96P/Machholz 1 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 96P/Machholz 1 in Sagittarius on January, 25 2022
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet 96P/Machholz 1 in Sagittarius on January, 25 2022
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 96P/Machholz 1 is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

96P/Machholz 1
RA: 19h 43m 41s
Dec: -38° 22’ 00”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 96P/Machholz 1
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 96P/Machholz 1?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 96P/Machholz 1 in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 96P/Machholz 1 Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 from Earth is currently 791,941,418 kilometers, equivalent to 5.293801 Astronomical Units. Light takes 44 minutes and 1.6322 seconds to travel from Comet 96P/Machholz 1 and arrive to us.

44 minutes and 1.6322 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 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 96P/Machholz 1 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 96P/Machholz 1 from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 to Earth happens on Fri Jun 16 2028 at a distance of 0.319897 Astronomical Units, or 47,855,858 kilometers:

Fri Jun 16 2028

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

Comet 96P/Machholz 1 brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 is 24.26.


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 96P/Machholz 1, 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 96P/Machholz 1 between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet 96P/Machholz 1 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 96P/Machholz 1 rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 128.4°
Max altitude: 0.2°
Azimuth: 231.6°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 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 96P/Machholz 1 Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 at epoch 02 November 2008 00:00 UTC (JD: 2454773.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.95920748
Orbit inclination i 58.53858183°
Perihelion distance q 0.12371423 AU
18,507,386 km
Aphelion distance Q 5.94182148 AU
888,883,844 km
Semi-major axis a 3.03276786 AU
453,695,615 km
Orbital period period 5.2816 years
1,929.1108 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2007-Apr-05 15:44:45
2,454,196.1561 JD
Next perihelion transit 2012-Jul-16 18:24
2,456,125.2669 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 14.746313885451°
Longitude of the ascending node node 94.350812930629°
Mean anomaly M 107.7407308762°
Mean motion n 0.18661447°/day

Visualization of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 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 96P/Machholz 1
View Comet 96P/Machholz 1 in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 96P/Machholz 1 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 96P/Machholz 1 computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 96P/Machholz 1 in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2022 Jan 18 19h 36m 06s -38° 27’ 38” 24.33 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 19 19h 37m 08s -38° 26’ 48” 24.32 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 20 19h 38m 08s -38° 25’ 59” 24.31 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 21 19h 39m 10s -38° 25’ 12” 24.30 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 22 19h 40m 10s -38° 24’ 25” 24.29 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 23 19h 41m 12s -38° 23’ 40” 24.28 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 24 19h 42m 14s -38° 22’ 58” 24.27 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 25 19h 43m 14s -38° 22’ 15” 24.26 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 26 19h 44m 16s -38° 21’ 35” 24.25 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 27 19h 45m 17s -38° 20’ 57” 24.24 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 28 19h 46m 18s -38° 20’ 21” 24.23 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 29 19h 47m 20s -38° 19’ 45” 24.21 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 30 19h 48m 21s -38° 19’ 13” 24.20 Sagittarius
2022 Jan 31 19h 49m 23s -38° 18’ 42” 24.19 Sagittarius