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Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)

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Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) Position

Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is currently in the constellation of Hercules. The current Right Ascension is 18h 02m 13s and the Declination is +45° 44’ 23”.

18h 02m 13s
+45° 44’ 23”

Simplified sky chart showing where Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars and constellations (see full screen Online Planetarium)

Map showing Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) in Hercules on January, 25 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/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is right now (view fullscreen)

RA: 18h 02m 13s
Dec: +45° 44’ 23”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) Distance

The distance of Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is currently 1,525,079,108 kilometers, equivalent to 10.194524 Astronomical Units. Light takes 1 hours, 24 minutes and 47.1163 seconds to travel from Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) and arrive to us.

1 hours, 24 minutes and 47.1163 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2017 K2 (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/2017 K2 (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/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100 the closest approach of Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) to Earth happens on Thu Jul 14 2022 at a distance of 1.80789834 Astronomical Units, or 270,457,742 kilometers:

Thu Jul 14 2022

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

Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is 17.03.


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/2017 K2 (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/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet C/2017 K2 (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/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is circumpolar and transits at 09:45 UTC (altitude: 84.3°)

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet C/2017 K2 (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/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) at epoch 02 September 2018 00:00 UTC (JD: 2458364.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 1.00036057
Orbit inclination i 87.54468407°
Perihelion distance q 1.80646821 AU
270,243,798 km
Aphelion distance Q n.a.
Semi-major axis a n.a.
Orbital period period n.a.
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2022-Dec-20 18:26:31
2,459,934.2684 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 236.06814104518°
Longitude of the ascending node node 88.253278145268°
Mean anomaly M -0.0043629065209965°
Mean motion n 0.00000278°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2017 K2 (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/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)
View Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2017 K2 (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/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2020 Jan 18 17h 58m 26s +45° 32’ 43” 17.06 Hercules
2020 Jan 19 17h 58m 55s +45° 33’ 57” 17.05 Hercules
2020 Jan 20 17h 59m 26s +45° 35’ 17” 17.05 Hercules
2020 Jan 21 17h 59m 56s +45° 36’ 42” 17.05 Hercules
2020 Jan 22 18h 00m 24s +45° 38’ 11” 17.04 Hercules
2020 Jan 23 18h 00m 55s +45° 39’ 45” 17.04 Hercules
2020 Jan 24 18h 01m 23s +45° 41’ 22” 17.04 Hercules
2020 Jan 25 18h 01m 53s +45° 43’ 05” 17.03 Hercules
2020 Jan 26 18h 02m 21s +45° 44’ 53” 17.03 Hercules
2020 Jan 27 18h 02m 49s +45° 46’ 45” 17.02 Hercules
2020 Jan 28 18h 03m 17s +45° 48’ 42” 17.02 Hercules
2020 Jan 29 18h 03m 46s +45° 50’ 43” 17.02 Hercules
2020 Jan 30 18h 04m 13s +45° 52’ 49” 17.01 Hercules
2020 Jan 31 18h 04m 41s +45° 54’ 59” 17.01 Hercules