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🌎  Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina)

Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) is currently in the constellation of Camelopardalis. The current Right Ascension of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) is 03h 58m 43s and the Declination is +71° 33’ 03” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) is 23.07 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) [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]:

03h 58m 43s
+71° 33’ 03”
  • C/2021 C3 (Catalina) is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change].
  • It is visible looking in the North-North-West direction at an altitude of 58° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, C/2021 C3 (Catalina) is visible only through long exposure photography.
  • See also C/2021 C3 (Catalina) 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/2021 C3 (Catalina) available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) 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/2021 C3 (Catalina) in Camelopardalis on May, 16 2022
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) in Camelopardalis on May, 16 2022
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/2021 C3 (Catalina) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

C/2021 C3 (Catalina)
RA: 03h 58m 43s
Dec: +71° 33’ 03”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) from Earth is currently 849,296,212 kilometers, equivalent to 5.677195 Astronomical Units. Light takes 47 minutes and 12.9472 seconds to travel from Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) and arrive to us.

47 minutes and 12.9472 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) 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/2021 C3 (Catalina) 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/2021 C3 (Catalina) from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) to Earth happens on Sun Mar 14 2021 at a distance of 1.325110 Astronomical Units, or 198,233,576 kilometers:

Sun Mar 14 2021

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

Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) is 23.07.


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/2021 C3 (Catalina), 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/2021 C3 (Catalina) between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) rise and set times

Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]
Latitude: 51° 28’ 47” N
Longitude: 0° 00’ 00” E
Timezone: Europe/London

Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) is circumpolar and transits at 12:21 UTC (altitude: 69.9°)

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) 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/2021 C3 (Catalina) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) at epoch 14 March 2021 00:00 UTC (JD: 2459288.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.96404857
Orbit inclination i 122.16139874°
Perihelion distance q 2.27650136 AU
340,559,757 km
Aphelion distance Q 124.36664993 AU
18,604,986,052 km
Semi-major axis a 63.32157564 AU
9,472,772,905 km
Orbital period period 503.8900 years
184,045.8361 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2021-Feb-12 10:39:06
2,459,257.9438 JD
Next perihelion transit 2525-Jan-07 06:43
2,643,303.7799 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 357.15183716204°
Longitude of the ascending node node 181.91977801275°
Mean anomaly M 0.059768928115345°
Mean motion n 0.00195603°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) 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/2021 C3 (Catalina)
View Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet C/2021 C3 (Catalina) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2022 May 09 03h 48m 09s +71° 45’ 11” 23.00 Camelopardalis
2022 May 10 03h 49m 32s +71° 43’ 14” 23.01 Camelopardalis
2022 May 11 03h 50m 56s +71° 41’ 23” 23.02 Camelopardalis
2022 May 12 03h 52m 18s +71° 39’ 39” 23.03 Camelopardalis
2022 May 13 03h 53m 40s +71° 38’ 03” 23.04 Camelopardalis
2022 May 14 03h 55m 04s +71° 36’ 33” 23.04 Camelopardalis
2022 May 15 03h 56m 26s +71° 35’ 08” 23.05 Camelopardalis
2022 May 16 03h 57m 47s +71° 33’ 51” 23.06 Camelopardalis
2022 May 17 03h 59m 09s +71° 32’ 40” 23.07 Camelopardalis
2022 May 18 04h 00m 30s +71° 31’ 36” 23.08 Camelopardalis
2022 May 19 04h 01m 51s +71° 30’ 37” 23.08 Camelopardalis
2022 May 20 04h 03m 12s +71° 29’ 44” 23.09 Camelopardalis
2022 May 21 04h 04m 32s +71° 28’ 58” 23.10 Camelopardalis
2022 May 22 04h 05m 53s +71° 28’ 18” 23.10 Camelopardalis