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🌎 Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS)

Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) is currently in the constellation of Fornax. The current Right Ascension of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) is 02h 09m 24s and the Declination is -35° 35’ 21” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) is 17.00 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) [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]:

02h 09m 24s
-35° 35’ 21”

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Additional information about Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) 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/2020 M3 (ATLAS) in Fornax on August, 14 2020
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) in Fornax on August, 14 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/2020 M3 (ATLAS) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

C/2020 M3 (ATLAS)
RA: 02h 09m 24s
Dec: -35° 35’ 21”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) from Earth is currently 142,697,545 kilometers, equivalent to 0.953874 Astronomical Units. Light takes 7 minutes and 55.9878 seconds to travel from Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) and arrive to us.

7 minutes and 55.9878 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) 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/2020 M3 (ATLAS) from Earth between January 2014 and January 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/2020 M3 (ATLAS) from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) to Earth

Between January 2014 and January 2100 the closest approach of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) to Earth happens on Sat Nov 14 2020 at a distance of 0.40284264 Astronomical Units, or 60,264,401 kilometers:

Sat Nov 14 2020

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

Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) is 17.00.


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/2020 M3 (ATLAS), 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/2020 M3 (ATLAS) between January 2014 and January 2100

Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) 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/2020 M3 (ATLAS) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 125.5°
Max altitude: 3.0°
Azimuth: 234.5°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) 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/2020 M3 (ATLAS) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) at epoch 29 June 2020 00:00 UTC (JD: 2459030.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.99983149
Orbit inclination i 23.82777291°
Perihelion distance q 1.31364067 AU
196,517,847 km
Aphelion distance Q 15,589.72593226 AU
2,332,189,808,939 km
Semi-major axis a 7,795.51978646 AU
1,166,193,163,393 km
Orbital period period 688,296.9100 years
251,400,446.2041 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2020-Oct-24 02:49:43
2,459,146.6179 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 324.59439223922°
Longitude of the ascending node node 72.89277086554°
Mean anomaly M 359.99983372173°
Mean motion n 0.00000143°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) 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 M3 (ATLAS)
View Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2020 M3 (ATLAS) 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 M3 (ATLAS) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2020 Aug 07 01h 47m 41s -34° 56’ 22” 17.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 08 01h 50m 25s -35° 01’ 40” 17.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 09 01h 53m 08s -35° 06’ 51” 17.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 10 01h 55m 53s -35° 11’ 57” 17.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 11 01h 58m 37s -35° 16’ 58” 17.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 12 02h 01m 23s -35° 21’ 51” 17.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 13 02h 04m 09s -35° 26’ 38” 17.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 14 02h 06m 56s -35° 31’ 15” 17.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 15 02h 09m 42s -35° 35’ 45” 17.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 16 02h 12m 29s -35° 40’ 06” 17.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 17 02h 15m 16s -35° 44’ 17” 17.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 18 02h 18m 03s -35° 48’ 19” 16.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 19 02h 20m 52s -35° 52’ 08” 16.00 Fornax
2020 Aug 20 02h 23m 40s -35° 55’ 45” 16.00 Fornax