Your guide to the Solar System and the night sky
By donating now you help keep this site alive and free from ads. Please consider supporting this project.
🌎  Observing from: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS)

Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) is currently in the constellation of Columba. The current Right Ascension of Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) is 05h 17m 50s and the Declination is -36° 42’ 24” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) is 15.08 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet C/2021 S3 (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]:

05h 17m 50s
-36° 42’ 24”
Columba
15.08

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 S3 (PANSTARRS) available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet C/2021 S3 (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/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) in Columba on February, 07 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) in Columba on February, 07 2023
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 S3 (PANSTARRS) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS)
RA: 05h 17m 50s
Dec: -36° 42’ 24”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is currently 660,122,114 kilometers, equivalent to 4.412644 Astronomical Units. Light takes 36 minutes and 41.9304 seconds to travel from Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) and arrive to us.

660,122,114
4.412644
36 minutes and 41.9304 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2021 S3 (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/2021 S3 (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/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) to Earth happens on Fri Mar 15 2024 at a distance of 1.298023 Astronomical Units, or 194,181,486 kilometers:

Fri Mar 15 2024
194,181,486
1.298023

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

Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) is 15.08.

15.08
-
-

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 S3 (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/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) 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/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 126.7°
Max altitude: 1.9°
Azimuth: 233.3°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet C/2021 S3 (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/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) at epoch 29 July 2022 00:00 UTC (JD: 2459790.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.99987024
Orbit inclination i 58.53679473°
Perihelion distance q 1.31926855 AU
197,359,766 km
Aphelion distance Q 20,333.37699609 AU
3,041,829,908,856 km
Semi-major axis a 10,167.34813232 AU
1,521,013,634,311 km
Orbital period period 1,025,226.3117 years
374,463,910.3337 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2024-Feb-14 18:18:48
2,460,355.2631 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 6.8935013023359°
Longitude of the ascending node node 215.63079451804°
Mean anomaly M 359.99945705127°
Mean motion n 0.00000096°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2021 S3 (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/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS)
View Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2021 S3 (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/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 Jan 31 05h 21m 19s -37° 23’ 42” 15.15 Columba
2023 Feb 01 05h 20m 48s -37° 18’ 30” 15.14 Columba
2023 Feb 02 05h 20m 17s -37° 13’ 11” 15.13 Columba
2023 Feb 03 05h 19m 48s -37° 07’ 45” 15.12 Columba
2023 Feb 04 05h 19m 18s -37° 02’ 08” 15.11 Columba
2023 Feb 05 05h 18m 51s -36° 56’ 23” 15.10 Columba
2023 Feb 06 05h 18m 24s -36° 50’ 30” 15.09 Columba
2023 Feb 07 05h 17m 58s -36° 44’ 30” 15.08 Columba
2023 Feb 08 05h 17m 35s -36° 38’ 22” 15.07 Columba
2023 Feb 09 05h 17m 11s -36° 32’ 07” 15.06 Columba
2023 Feb 10 05h 16m 49s -36° 25’ 45” 15.05 Columba
2023 Feb 11 05h 16m 27s -36° 19’ 14” 15.04 Columba
2023 Feb 12 05h 16m 06s -36° 12’ 38” 15.03 Columba
2023 Feb 13 05h 15m 47s -36° 05’ 56” 15.02 Columba