Your guide to the Solar System and the night sky
🌎 Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS)

Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is currently in the constellation of Cassiopeia. The current Right Ascension of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is 00h 34m 03s and the Declination is +72° 23’ 19” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is 19.86 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) [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]:

00h 34m 03s
+72° 23’ 19”
  • C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change].
  • It is visible looking in the North direction at an altitude of 36° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is visible only through long exposure photography.
  • See also C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) rise and set times.
  • Go to interactive sky chart

If you need to access this information frequently for your observations, you can create a simple customized Quick Access page, so that you can easily bookmark it in your browser favorites or add a shortcut to your mobile phones' home screen.

Additional information about Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) 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 C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) in Cassiopeia on August, 12 2020
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) in Cassiopeia on August, 12 2020
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 C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 00h 34m 03s
Dec: +72° 23’ 19”
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 from Earth

The distance of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is currently 1,314,611,386 kilometers, equivalent to 8.787634 Astronomical Units. Light takes 1 hours, 13 minutes and 5.0716 seconds to travel from Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) and arrive to us.

1 hours, 13 minutes and 5.0716 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 4.39696637 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 19.86.


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 03:09 UTC (altitude: 69.1°)

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 10 November 2017 00:00 UTC (JD: 2458068.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 1.00196488
Orbit inclination i 121.18533891°
Perihelion distance q 5.32776220 AU
797,021,882 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 08:53:10
2,458,080.8703 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 10.319991502657°
Longitude of the ascending node node 128.17444608277°
Mean anomaly M -8.635162127939E-5°
Mean motion n 0.00000698°/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 Aug 05 00h 43m 51s +72° 01’ 40” 19.85 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 06 00h 42m 41s +72° 04’ 49” 19.85 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 07 00h 41m 29s +72° 07’ 50” 19.85 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 08 00h 40m 14s +72° 10’ 48” 19.85 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 09 00h 38m 58s +72° 13’ 39” 19.85 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 10 00h 37m 41s +72° 16’ 23” 19.86 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 11 00h 36m 21s +72° 19’ 02” 19.86 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 12 00h 35m 02s +72° 21’ 34” 19.86 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 13 00h 33m 39s +72° 24’ 01” 19.86 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 14 00h 32m 17s +72° 26’ 18” 19.86 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 15 00h 30m 51s +72° 28’ 31” 19.86 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 16 00h 29m 26s +72° 30’ 34” 19.86 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 17 00h 27m 57s +72° 32’ 31” 19.86 Cassiopeia
2020 Aug 18 00h 26m 29s +72° 34’ 21” 19.87 Cepheus