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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 04h 51m 00s and the Declination is +26° 04’ 43”.

04h 51m 00s
+26° 04’ 43”

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 February, 21 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: 04h 51m 00s
Dec: +26° 04’ 43”
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 624,664,272 kilometers, equivalent to 4.175623 Astronomical Units. Light takes 34 minutes and 43.6557 seconds to travel from Comet 9P/Tempel 1 and arrive to us.

34 minutes and 43.6557 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 0.94622148 Astronomical Units, or 141,552,718 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 22.03.


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: 63.9°
Max altitude: 64.6°
Azimuth: 296.1°
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 24 May 2016 00:00 UTC (JD: 2457533.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.50963079
Orbit inclination i 10.47382731°
Perihelion distance q 1.54255066 AU
230,762,295 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.74883405 AU
710,415,464 km
Semi-major axis a 3.14569236 AU
470,588,879 km
Orbital period period 5.5800 years
2,037.8527 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2016-Aug-02 13:51:46
2,457,603.0776 JD
Next perihelion transit 2022-Mar-02 10:19
2,459,640.9304 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 179.20318192707°
Longitude of the ascending node node 68.749704638324°
Mean anomaly M 347.70865910905°
Mean motion n 0.17665653°/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 Feb 14 04h 50m 56s +26° 04’ 14” 21.99 Taurus
2020 Feb 15 04h 50m 53s +26° 04’ 14” 21.99 Taurus
2020 Feb 16 04h 50m 51s +26° 04’ 14” 22.00 Taurus
2020 Feb 17 04h 50m 51s +26° 04’ 15” 22.00 Taurus
2020 Feb 18 04h 50m 51s +26° 04’ 19” 22.01 Taurus
2020 Feb 19 04h 50m 52s +26° 04’ 23” 22.01 Taurus
2020 Feb 20 04h 50m 54s +26° 04’ 31” 22.02 Taurus
2020 Feb 21 04h 50m 57s +26° 04’ 37” 22.02 Taurus
2020 Feb 22 04h 51m 02s +26° 04’ 46” 22.03 Taurus
2020 Feb 23 04h 51m 07s +26° 04’ 58” 22.03 Taurus
2020 Feb 24 04h 51m 14s +26° 05’ 09” 22.04 Taurus
2020 Feb 25 04h 51m 21s +26° 05’ 22” 22.05 Taurus
2020 Feb 26 04h 51m 30s +26° 05’ 38” 22.05 Taurus
2020 Feb 27 04h 51m 39s +26° 05’ 53” 22.06 Taurus