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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 6:44  
clear_day Transit: 12:51  
SunsetSet: 18:57 south
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Comets » 

Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS)

Altitude: -62.0°   Azimuth: 199.6°   Direction: South-South-West

Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) was discovered on May 17, 2020, by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS). It is a comet that originates from the Oort cloud, a region of icy objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. The comet's orbit is parabolic-like, almost perpendicular to the ecliptic plane, the plane in which the planets orbit the Sun. The comet will reach its closest point to the Sun, known as perihelion, on May 9, 2023, when it will be at a distance of 3.07 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun. On July 9, 2023, the comet will make its closest approach to Earth, at a distance of 2.47 AU. Between April and August 2023, the comet will be at its brightest and then it will gradually become dimmer as it moves away from the inner solar system.

Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) is currently in the constellation of Musca. The current Right Ascension of Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) is 11h 43m 42s and the Declination is -75° 04’ 57” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current estimated magnitude of Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) is 13.86 (JPL) while the latest observed magnitude is 14.0 (COBS).

11h 43m 42s
-75° 04’ 57”

The observed values of Magnitude, Coma Diameter and Tail Length are derived from the most recent observation recorded at the Comet Observers Database. The value of Predicted Magnitude comes from the JPL Horizons ephemerides service and, in the case of comets, might be inaccurate given the highly dynamic and unpredictable behavior of these objects. When available, please refer to the Observed Magnitude value and consider the Predicted 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.

Today's rise, transit and set times of Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Today Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) is not visible from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt

  • C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) is visible with the help of a telescope having an aperture of 14 inches (350mm) or more.
  • 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.

Available Resources

Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet C/2020 K1 (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.

Finder chart of C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) in Musca on September,22 2023
Map showing Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) in Musca on September, 22 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS)
Map showing Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) in Musca on September, 22 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 11h 43m 42s
Dec: -75° 04’ 57”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is currently 517,405,751 kilometers, equivalent to 3.458644 Astronomical Units. Light takes 28 minutes and 45.8798 seconds to travel from Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) and arrive to us.

28 minutes and 45.8798 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2020 K1 (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.

Chart of the distance of Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) from Earth in Astronomical Units (au)

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/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) to Earth

Between 1 January 2013 and 30 December 2100, the closest approach of Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) to Earth happens on Fri Jun 9 2023 at a distance of 2.471780 Astronomical Units, or 369,772,985 kilometers:

Fri Jun 9 2023

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

Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Comet C/2020 K1 (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.

Chart of the magnitude of Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) as a function of time

Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) at epoch 25 January 2022 00:00 UTC (JD: 2459605.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.99978755
Orbit inclination i 89.66001431°
Perihelion distance q 3.07376730 AU
459,829,044 km
Aphelion distance Q 28,933.06053604 AU
4,328,324,257,705 km
Semi-major axis a 14,468.06715167 AU
2,164,392,043,375 km
Orbital period period 1,740,299.4222 years
635,644,363.9475 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2023-May-09 01:58:43
2,460,073.5824 JD
Next perihelion transit 2646-Oct-07 08:43
638,104,437.5299 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 213.97315979727°
Longitude of the ascending node node 94.358527151777°
Mean anomaly M 359.99973489943°
Mean motion n 0.00000057°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2020 K1 (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/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS)
View Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2020 K1 (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/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 Sep 15 11h 37m 28s -74° 55’ 18” 13.78 Musca
2023 Sep 16 11h 38m 17s -74° 55’ 37” 13.79 Musca
2023 Sep 17 11h 39m 05s -74° 56’ 12” 13.80 Musca
2023 Sep 18 11h 39m 52s -74° 57’ 03” 13.81 Musca
2023 Sep 19 11h 40m 40s -74° 58’ 10” 13.82 Musca
2023 Sep 20 11h 41m 27s -74° 59’ 34” 13.83 Musca
2023 Sep 21 11h 42m 15s -75° 01’ 11” 13.84 Musca
2023 Sep 22 11h 43m 01s -75° 03’ 06” 13.85 Musca
2023 Sep 23 11h 43m 48s -75° 05’ 15” 13.86 Musca
2023 Sep 24 11h 44m 34s -75° 07’ 38” 13.88 Musca
2023 Sep 25 11h 45m 20s -75° 10’ 18” 13.89 Musca
2023 Sep 26 11h 46m 05s -75° 13’ 11” 13.90 Musca
2023 Sep 27 11h 46m 50s -75° 16’ 19” 13.91 Musca
2023 Sep 28 11h 47m 35s -75° 19’ 41” 13.92 Musca