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🌎 Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)

Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) is currently in the constellation of Ophiucus. The current Right Ascension of Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) is 16h 42m 15s and the Declination is +03° 05’ 24” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) is 21.50 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet C/2016 R2 (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]:

16h 42m 15s
+03° 05’ 24”
  • C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change].
  • It is visible looking in the East-South-East direction at an altitude of 27° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) is visible only through long exposure photography.
  • See also C/2016 R2 (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 R2 (PANSTARRS) available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet C/2016 R2 (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 R2 (PANSTARRS) in Ophiucus on January, 25 2021
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) in Ophiucus on January, 25 2021
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 R2 (PANSTARRS) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 16h 42m 15s
Dec: +03° 05’ 24”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is currently 1,417,188,847 kilometers, equivalent to 9.473322 Astronomical Units. Light takes 1 hours, 18 minutes and 47.2332 seconds to travel from Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) and arrive to us.

1 hours, 18 minutes and 47.2332 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2016 R2 (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 R2 (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 R2 (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 R2 (PANSTARRS) to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) to Earth happens on Sat Dec 23 2017 at a distance of 2.054007 Astronomical Units, or 307,275,148 kilometers:

Sat Dec 23 2017

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

Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) is 21.50.


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 R2 (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 R2 (PANSTARRS) between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet C/2016 R2 (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 R2 (PANSTARRS) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 86.9°
Max altitude: 41.6°
Azimuth: 273.1°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet C/2016 R2 (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 R2 (PANSTARRS) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) at epoch 17 May 2018 00:00 UTC (JD: 2458256.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.99632156
Orbit inclination i 58.22395643°
Perihelion distance q 2.60236366 AU
389,308,063 km
Aphelion distance Q 1,412.32537241 AU
211,280,868,872 km
Semi-major axis a 707.46386804 AU
105,835,088,468 km
Orbital period period 18,817.6200 years
6,873,134.1924 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2018-May-09 14:00:12
2,458,248.0835 JD
Next perihelion transit 20836-May-09 18:37
9,331,382.2759 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 33.19206712284°
Longitude of the ascending node node 80.56893503497°
Mean anomaly M 0.00044083907606633°
Mean motion n 0.00005238°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2016 R2 (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 R2 (PANSTARRS)
View Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2016 R2 (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 R2 (PANSTARRS) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2021 Jan 18 16h 40m 04s +03° 03’ 47” 21.48 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 19 16h 40m 23s +03° 03’ 53” 21.49 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 20 16h 40m 41s +03° 04’ 01” 21.49 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 21 16h 41m 00s +03° 04’ 13” 21.49 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 22 16h 41m 18s +03° 04’ 26” 21.49 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 23 16h 41m 36s +03° 04’ 41” 21.49 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 24 16h 41m 53s +03° 04’ 59” 21.50 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 25 16h 42m 11s +03° 05’ 20” 21.50 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 26 16h 42m 28s +03° 05’ 43” 21.50 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 27 16h 42m 44s +03° 06’ 07” 21.50 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 28 16h 43m 00s +03° 06’ 35” 21.50 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 29 16h 43m 17s +03° 07’ 05” 21.50 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 30 16h 43m 32s +03° 07’ 36” 21.51 Ophiucus
2021 Jan 31 16h 43m 48s +03° 08’ 11” 21.51 Ophiucus