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Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS)

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Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) Position

Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is currently in the constellation of Cepheus. The current Right Ascension is 23h 58m 49s and the Declination is +69° 27’ 42”.

23h 58m 49s
+69° 27’ 42”

Simplified sky chart showing where Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars and constellations (see full screen Online Planetarium)

Map showing Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) in Cepheus on January, 22 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 C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is right now (view fullscreen)

RA: 23h 58m 49s
Dec: +69° 27’ 42”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) Distance

The distance of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is currently 1,134,425,312 kilometers, equivalent to 7.583165 Astronomical Units. Light takes 1 hours, 3 minutes and 4.0355 seconds to travel from Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) and arrive to us.

1 hours, 3 minutes and 4.0355 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) 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 C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) 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 C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100 the closest approach of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) to Earth happens on Wed Jan 17 2018 at a distance of 4.39696682 Astronomical Units, or 657,776,875 kilometers:

Wed Jan 17 2018

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

Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is 18.94.


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 C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS), 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 C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) rise and set times

Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]
Latitude: 51° 28’ 47” N
Longitude: 0° 00’ 00” E
Timezone: Europe/London

Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is circumpolar and transits at 15:52 UTC (altitude: 72.0°)

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) 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 C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) at epoch 07 November 2017 00:00 UTC (JD: 2458065.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 1.00196143
Orbit inclination i 121.18524452°
Perihelion distance q 5.32776273 AU
797,021,961 km
Aphelion distance Q n.a.
Semi-major axis a n.a.
Orbital period period n.a.
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2017-Nov-23 08:51:41
2,458,080.8692 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 10.319864983582°
Longitude of the ascending node node 128.17442861634°
Mean anomaly M -0.00010700360691249°
Mean motion n 0.00000696°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) 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 C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS)
View Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2020 Jan 15 23h 57m 01s +70° 26’ 03” 18.89 Cepheus
2020 Jan 16 23h 57m 12s +70° 17’ 27” 18.90 Cepheus
2020 Jan 17 23h 57m 25s +70° 09’ 00” 18.91 Cepheus
2020 Jan 18 23h 57m 41s +70° 00’ 37” 18.91 Cepheus
2020 Jan 19 23h 57m 56s +69° 52’ 21” 18.92 Cepheus
2020 Jan 20 23h 58m 11s +69° 44’ 12” 18.93 Cepheus
2020 Jan 21 23h 58m 30s +69° 36’ 09” 18.93 Cepheus
2020 Jan 22 23h 58m 48s +69° 28’ 13” 18.94 Cepheus
2020 Jan 23 23h 59m 07s +69° 20’ 22” 18.95 Cepheus
2020 Jan 24 23h 59m 27s +69° 12’ 41” 18.95 Cepheus
2020 Jan 25 23h 59m 48s +69° 05’ 04” 18.96 Cepheus
2020 Jan 26 00h 00m 11s +68° 57’ 35” 18.97 Cepheus
2020 Jan 27 00h 00m 33s +68° 50’ 13” 18.97 Cepheus
2020 Jan 28 00h 00m 56s +68° 42’ 59” 18.98 Cepheus