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Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)

Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is currently in the constellation of Lyra. The current Right Ascension of Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is 18h 17m 05s and the Declination is +42° 35’ 57” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is 14.77 (JPL) while the latest observed magnitude is 13.7 (COBS).

Summary of key facts about Comet C/2017 K2 (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]:

18h 17m 05s
+42° 35’ 57”
Lyra
13.7
14.77
  • C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change].
  • It is visible looking in the West-South-West direction at an altitude of 71° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is visible with the help of a telescope havng an aperture of 14 inches (350mm) or more.
  • See also C/2017 K2 (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/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet C/2017 K2 (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/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) in Lyra on May, 09 2021
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) in Lyra on May, 09 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/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)
RA: 18h 17m 05s
Dec: +42° 35’ 57”
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 from Earth

The distance of Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is currently 908,807,563 kilometers, equivalent to 6.075003 Astronomical Units. Light takes 50 minutes and 31.4557 seconds to travel from Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) and arrive to us.

908,807,563
6.075003
50 minutes and 31.4557 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 1.807890 Astronomical Units, or 270,456,554 kilometers:

Thu Jul 14 2022
270,456,554
1.807890

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 14.77.

14.77
13.7
1.4'

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 03:08 UTC (altitude: 81.1°)

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 20 September 2019 00:00 UTC (JD: 2458747.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 1.00037448
Orbit inclination i 87.54106074°
Perihelion distance q 1.80200264 AU
269,575,759 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 06:06:37
2,459,933.7546 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 236.12586292001°
Longitude of the ascending node node 88.271954284267°
Mean anomaly M -0.0035026427027943°
Mean motion n 0.00000295°/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
2021 May 02 18h 20m 48s +42° 05’ 33” 14.83 Lyra
2021 May 03 18h 20m 21s +42° 10’ 01” 14.82 Lyra
2021 May 04 18h 19m 50s +42° 14’ 26” 14.81 Lyra
2021 May 05 18h 19m 21s +42° 18’ 46” 14.80 Lyra
2021 May 06 18h 18m 50s +42° 22’ 59” 14.79 Lyra
2021 May 07 18h 18m 17s +42° 27’ 09” 14.78 Lyra
2021 May 08 18h 17m 45s +42° 31’ 13” 14.77 Lyra
2021 May 09 18h 17m 12s +42° 35’ 11” 14.77 Lyra
2021 May 10 18h 16m 37s +42° 39’ 02” 14.76 Lyra
2021 May 11 18h 16m 01s +42° 42’ 47” 14.75 Lyra
2021 May 12 18h 15m 25s +42° 46’ 27” 14.74 Lyra
2021 May 13 18h 14m 48s +42° 50’ 00” 14.73 Lyra
2021 May 14 18h 14m 11s +42° 53’ 26” 14.72 Hercules
2021 May 15 18h 13m 32s +42° 56’ 45” 14.72 Hercules