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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 03h 32m 06s and the Declination is +81° 22’ 57”.

03h 32m 06s
+81° 22’ 57”

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 fuillscreen Online Planetarium)

Map showing Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) in Cepheus on October, 18 2019
Field of view: 60x30 degrees
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 = visible to the naked eye
 = binocular, brighter than 10th magnitude
= current altitude ≥ 30°   = current altitude < 30°   = below the horizon
Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Hihgher precision deep sky finder chart showing where Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) is right now (view fullscreen)

RA: 03h 32m 06s
Dec: +81° 22’ 57”
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 1,042,300,718 kilometers, equivalent to 6.967350 Astronomical Units. Light takes 57 minutes and 56.7410 seconds to travel from Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) and arrive to us.

57 minutes and 56.7410 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 4.39697030 Astronomical Units, or 657,777,396 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 18.72.


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 behvior 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 01:47 UTC (altitude: 60.1°)

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS) touches the horizon, consideting the effect of the atmospheric refraction. As the atmoshpere 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 20 October 2017 00:00 UTC (JD: 2458047.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 1.00194224
Orbit inclination i 121.18471026°
Perihelion distance q 5.32776762 AU
797,022,694 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 08:41:27
2,458,080.8621 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 10.318998932789°
Longitude of the ascending node node 128.17433248436°
Mean anomaly M -0.00022887204730466°
Mean motion n 0.00000686°/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
2019 Oct 11 04h 03m 47s +80° 52’ 27” 18.71 Cepheus
2019 Oct 12 03h 59m 36s +80° 57’ 42” 18.71 Cepheus
2019 Oct 13 03h 55m 19s +81° 02’ 40” 18.71 Cepheus
2019 Oct 14 03h 50m 54s +81° 07’ 22” 18.71 Cepheus
2019 Oct 15 03h 46m 23s +81° 11’ 44” 18.72 Cepheus
2019 Oct 16 03h 41m 44s +81° 15’ 48” 18.72 Cepheus
2019 Oct 17 03h 36m 59s +81° 19’ 32” 18.72 Cepheus
2019 Oct 18 03h 32m 07s +81° 22’ 56” 18.72 Cepheus
2019 Oct 19 03h 27m 09s +81° 25’ 59” 18.72 Cepheus
2019 Oct 20 03h 22m 05s +81° 28’ 41” 18.73 Cepheus
2019 Oct 21 03h 16m 58s +81° 31’ 00” 18.73 Cepheus
2019 Oct 22 03h 11m 45s +81° 32’ 57” 18.73 Cepheus
2019 Oct 23 03h 06m 29s +81° 34’ 30” 18.73 Cepheus
2019 Oct 24 03h 01m 09s +81° 35’ 39” 18.74 Cepheus