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Comet 9P/Tempel 1

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Comet 9P/Tempel 1 Position

Comet 9P/Tempel 1 is currently in the constellation of Taurus. The current Right Ascension is 05h 08m 51s and the Declination is +26° 30’ 47”.

05h 08m 51s
+26° 30’ 47”

Simplified sky chart showing where Comet 9P/Tempel 1 is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars and constellations (see full screen Online Planetarium)

Map showing Comet 9P/Tempel 1 in Taurus on April, 05 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 9P/Tempel 1 is right now (view fullscreen)

9P/Tempel 1
RA: 05h 08m 51s
Dec: +26° 30’ 47”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet 9P/Tempel 1
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet 9P/Tempel 1?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet 9P/Tempel 1 in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet 9P/Tempel 1 Distance

The distance of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 from Earth is currently 713,089,742 kilometers, equivalent to 4.766711 Astronomical Units. Light takes 39 minutes and 38.6113 seconds to travel from Comet 9P/Tempel 1 and arrive to us.

39 minutes and 38.6113 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet 9P/Tempel 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 9P/Tempel 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 9P/Tempel 1 from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100 the closest approach of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 to Earth happens on Sat Jun 16 2040 at a distance of 0.94638097 Astronomical Units, or 141,576,578 kilometers:

Sat Jun 16 2040

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

Comet 9P/Tempel 1 brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 is 22.23.


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 9P/Tempel 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 9P/Tempel 1 between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet 9P/Tempel 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 9P/Tempel 1 rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 63.5°
Max altitude: 65.0°
Azimuth: 296.5°
Comet 9P/Tempel 1 is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet 9P/Tempel 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 9P/Tempel 1 Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 at epoch 30 May 2016 00:00 UTC (JD: 2457539.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.50962526
Orbit inclination i 10.47386415°
Perihelion distance q 1.54254954 AU
230,762,128 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.74875962 AU
710,404,329 km
Semi-major axis a 3.14565458 AU
470,583,228 km
Orbital period period 5.5800 years
2,037.8160 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2016-Aug-02 13:52:33
2,457,603.0782 JD
Next perihelion transit 2022-Mar-02 09:27
2,459,640.8942 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 179.20358087344°
Longitude of the ascending node node 68.749598031609°
Mean anomaly M 348.76829861189°
Mean motion n 0.17665972°/day

Visualization of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet 9P/Tempel 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 9P/Tempel 1
View Comet 9P/Tempel 1 in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet 9P/Tempel 1 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet 9P/Tempel 1 in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2020 Mar 29 05h 04m 05s +26° 24’ 24” 22.20 Taurus
2020 Mar 30 05h 04m 41s +26° 25’ 15” 22.21 Taurus
2020 Mar 31 05h 05m 20s +26° 26’ 07” 22.21 Taurus
2020 Apr 01 05h 05m 57s +26° 26’ 58” 22.21 Taurus
2020 Apr 02 05h 06m 37s +26° 27’ 51” 22.22 Taurus
2020 Apr 03 05h 07m 15s +26° 28’ 44” 22.22 Taurus
2020 Apr 04 05h 07m 57s +26° 29’ 36” 22.22 Taurus
2020 Apr 05 05h 08m 38s +26° 30’ 29” 22.23 Taurus
2020 Apr 06 05h 09m 19s +26° 31’ 23” 22.23 Taurus
2020 Apr 07 05h 10m 00s +26° 32’ 17” 22.23 Taurus
2020 Apr 08 05h 10m 44s +26° 33’ 12” 22.24 Taurus
2020 Apr 09 05h 11m 26s +26° 34’ 06” 22.24 Taurus
2020 Apr 10 05h 12m 11s +26° 35’ 02” 22.24 Taurus
2020 Apr 11 05h 12m 56s +26° 35’ 57” 22.25 Taurus