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🌎 Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS)

Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) is currently in the constellation of Hercules. The current Right Ascension of Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) is 17h 50m 15s and the Declination is +35° 28’ 40” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) is 18.98 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet C/2016 Q2 (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]:

17h 50m 15s
+35° 28’ 40”
  • C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change].
  • It is visible looking in the North-North-East direction at an altitude of 2° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) is visible only through long exposure photography.
  • See also C/2016 Q2 (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 Q2 (PANSTARRS) available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet C/2016 Q2 (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 Q2 (PANSTARRS) in Hercules on October, 29 2020
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) in Hercules on October, 29 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 Q2 (PANSTARRS) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 17h 50m 15s
Dec: +35° 28’ 40”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is currently 1,115,976,096 kilometers, equivalent to 7.459839 Astronomical Units. Light takes 1 hours, 2 minutes and 2.4956 seconds to travel from Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) and arrive to us.

1 hours, 2 minutes and 2.4956 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2016 Q2 (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 Q2 (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 Q2 (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 Q2 (PANSTARRS) to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) to Earth happens on Tue May 25 2021 at a distance of 6.805080 Astronomical Units, or 1,018,025,421 kilometers:

Tue May 25 2021

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

Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) is 18.98.


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 Q2 (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 Q2 (PANSTARRS) between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet C/2016 Q2 (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 Q2 (PANSTARRS) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 54.5°
Max altitude: 74.0°
Azimuth: 305.5°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet C/2016 Q2 (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 Q2 (PANSTARRS) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) at epoch 30 July 2019 00:00 UTC (JD: 2458695.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.99907909
Orbit inclination i 109.39243993°
Perihelion distance q 7.08407405 AU
1,059,762,396 km
Aphelion distance Q 15,377.82573997 AU
2,300,489,991,309 km
Semi-major axis a 7,692.45490701 AU
1,150,774,876,852 km
Orbital period period 674,692.1200 years
246,431,298.5508 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2021-May-11 03:07:05
2,459,345.6299 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 84.461616824494°
Longitude of the ascending node node 322.30308104526°
Mean anomaly M 359.99905025549°
Mean motion n 0.00000146°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2016 Q2 (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 Q2 (PANSTARRS)
View Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2016 Q2 (PANSTARRS) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2016 Q2 (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 Q2 (PANSTARRS) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2020 Oct 22 17h 49m 33s +35° 52’ 42” 18.97 Hercules
2020 Oct 23 17h 49m 37s +35° 49’ 10” 18.97 Hercules
2020 Oct 24 17h 49m 42s +35° 45’ 42” 18.97 Hercules
2020 Oct 25 17h 49m 47s +35° 42’ 17” 18.97 Hercules
2020 Oct 26 17h 49m 54s +35° 38’ 57” 18.97 Hercules
2020 Oct 27 17h 49m 59s +35° 35’ 41” 18.97 Hercules
2020 Oct 28 17h 50m 07s +35° 32’ 30” 18.98 Hercules
2020 Oct 29 17h 50m 13s +35° 29’ 25” 18.98 Hercules
2020 Oct 30 17h 50m 21s +35° 26’ 22” 18.98 Hercules
2020 Oct 31 17h 50m 30s +35° 23’ 25” 18.98 Hercules
2020 Nov 01 17h 50m 39s +35° 20’ 31” 18.98 Hercules
2020 Nov 02 17h 50m 48s +35° 17’ 44” 18.98 Hercules
2020 Nov 03 17h 50m 57s +35° 15’ 01” 18.98 Hercules
2020 Nov 04 17h 51m 07s +35° 12’ 23” 18.98 Hercules