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Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS)

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Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) Position

Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) is currently in the constellation of Serpens. The current Right Ascension is 17h 39m 20s and the Declination is -15° 40’ 53”.

17h 39m 20s
-15° 40’ 53”

Simplified sky chart showing where Comet C/2016 A3 (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 A3 (PANSTARRS) in Serpens on February, 24 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 A3 (PANSTARRS) is right now (view fullscreen)

RA: 17h 39m 20s
Dec: -15° 40’ 53”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) Distance

The distance of Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is currently 1,036,003,195 kilometers, equivalent to 6.925254 Astronomical Units. Light takes 57 minutes and 35.7347 seconds to travel from Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) and arrive to us.

57 minutes and 35.7347 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2016 A3 (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 A3 (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 A3 (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 A3 (PANSTARRS) to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100 the closest approach of Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) to Earth happens on Tue Mar 11 2059 at a distance of 3.73764566 Astronomical Units, or 559,143,833 kilometers:

Tue Mar 11 2059

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

Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) is 22.45.


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 A3 (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 A3 (PANSTARRS) between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) 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 C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 105.7°
Max altitude: 22.8°
Azimuth: 254.3°
Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) 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 C/2016 A3 (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 A3 (PANSTARRS) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) at epoch 19 February 2017 00:00 UTC (JD: 2457804.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.37952162
Orbit inclination i 8.59397438°
Perihelion distance q 4.78951301 AU
716,500,949 km
Aphelion distance Q 10.64861710 AU
1,593,010,447 km
Semi-major axis a 7.71906505 AU
1,154,755,698 km
Orbital period period 21.4500 years
7,833.3130 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2017-Apr-13 12:47:48
2,457,857.0332 JD
Next perihelion transit 2038-Sep-23 20:18
2,465,690.3462 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 338.46455529068°
Longitude of the ascending node node 187.79438972322°
Mean anomaly M 357.58570174031°
Mean motion n 0.04595757°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2016 A3 (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 A3 (PANSTARRS)
View Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2016 A3 (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 A3 (PANSTARRS) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2020 Feb 17 17h 35m 58s -15° 47’ 26” 22.46 Serpens
2020 Feb 18 17h 36m 28s -15° 46’ 36” 22.46 Serpens
2020 Feb 19 17h 36m 56s -15° 45’ 44” 22.45 Serpens
2020 Feb 20 17h 37m 24s -15° 44’ 53” 22.45 Serpens
2020 Feb 21 17h 37m 51s -15° 43’ 59” 22.45 Serpens
2020 Feb 22 17h 38m 20s -15° 43’ 04” 22.45 Serpens
2020 Feb 23 17h 38m 45s -15° 42’ 07” 22.45 Serpens
2020 Feb 24 17h 39m 12s -15° 41’ 11” 22.45 Serpens
2020 Feb 25 17h 39m 38s -15° 40’ 11” 22.45 Serpens
2020 Feb 26 17h 40m 04s -15° 39’ 12” 22.45 Serpens
2020 Feb 27 17h 40m 27s -15° 38’ 12” 22.44 Serpens
2020 Feb 28 17h 40m 53s -15° 37’ 09” 22.44 Serpens
2020 Feb 29 17h 41m 16s -15° 36’ 07” 22.44 Serpens
2020 Mar 01 17h 41m 39s -15° 35’ 03” 22.44 Serpens