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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 Cassiopeia. The current Right Ascension is 00h 40m 56s and the Declination is +65° 01’ 05”.

00h 40m 56s
+65° 01’ 05”

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 Cassiopeia on April, 04 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: 00h 40m 56s
Dec: +65° 01’ 05”
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 1,287,395,625 kilometers, equivalent to 8.605708 Astronomical Units. Light takes 1 hours, 11 minutes and 34.2896 seconds to travel from Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) and arrive to us.

1 hours, 11 minutes and 34.2896 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 4.39696636 Astronomical Units, or 657,776,807 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 19.50.


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 11:47 UTC (altitude: 76.5°)

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 09 November 2017 00:00 UTC (JD: 2458067.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 1.00196353
Orbit inclination i 121.18530730°
Perihelion distance q 5.32776224 AU
797,021,888 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 08:52:42
2,458,080.8699 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 10.319951245493°
Longitude of the ascending node node 128.17444021395°
Mean anomaly M -9.3233866166991E-5°
Mean motion n 0.00000697°/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 Mar 28 00h 36m 20s +65° 01’ 39” 19.46 Cassiopeia
2020 Mar 29 00h 36m 57s +65° 01’ 17” 19.46 Cassiopeia
2020 Mar 30 00h 37m 36s +65° 01’ 00” 19.47 Cassiopeia
2020 Mar 31 00h 38m 16s +65° 00’ 50” 19.48 Cassiopeia
2020 Apr 01 00h 38m 53s +65° 00’ 45” 19.48 Cassiopeia
2020 Apr 02 00h 39m 33s +65° 00’ 45” 19.49 Cassiopeia
2020 Apr 03 00h 40m 10s +65° 00’ 51” 19.49 Cassiopeia
2020 Apr 04 00h 40m 49s +65° 01’ 02” 19.50 Cassiopeia
2020 Apr 05 00h 41m 26s +65° 01’ 19” 19.50 Cassiopeia
2020 Apr 06 00h 42m 05s +65° 01’ 41” 19.51 Cassiopeia
2020 Apr 07 00h 42m 42s +65° 02’ 08” 19.51 Cassiopeia
2020 Apr 08 00h 43m 21s +65° 02’ 42” 19.52 Cassiopeia
2020 Apr 09 00h 43m 58s +65° 03’ 20” 19.52 Cassiopeia
2020 Apr 10 00h 44m 35s +65° 04’ 02” 19.53 Cassiopeia