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, thank you!
🌎  Observing from: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina)

Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) is currently in the constellation of Serpens. The current Right Ascension of Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) is 16h 05m 06s and the Declination is +06° 38’ 42” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) is 26.66 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet C/2021 U5 (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]:

16h 05m 06s
+06° 38’ 42”
Serpens
26.66
  • C/2021 U5 (Catalina) is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change].
  • It is visible looking in the South-South-East direction at an altitude of 44° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, C/2021 U5 (Catalina) is visible only through long exposure photography.
  • See also C/2021 U5 (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 U5 (Catalina) available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet C/2021 U5 (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 U5 (Catalina) in Serpens on January, 29 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) in Serpens on January, 29 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 U5 (Catalina) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

C/2021 U5 (Catalina)
RA: 16h 05m 06s
Dec: +06° 38’ 42”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) from Earth is currently 695,554,328 kilometers, equivalent to 4.649494 Astronomical Units. Light takes 38 minutes and 40.1195 seconds to travel from Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) and arrive to us.

695,554,328
4.649494
38 minutes and 40.1195 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2021 U5 (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 U5 (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 U5 (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 U5 (Catalina) to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) to Earth happens on Fri Mar 4 2022 at a distance of 1.464782 Astronomical Units, or 219,128,269 kilometers:

Fri Mar 4 2022
219,128,269
1.464782

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

Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) is 26.66.

26.66
-
-

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 U5 (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 U5 (Catalina) between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) 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 U5 (Catalina) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 83.4°
Max altitude: 45.2°
Azimuth: 276.7°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet C/2021 U5 (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 U5 (Catalina) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) at epoch 18 February 2022 00:00 UTC (JD: 2459629.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.98911516
Orbit inclination i 39.04940032°
Perihelion distance q 2.36328817 AU
353,542,878 km
Aphelion distance Q 431.87169157 AU
64,607,085,604 km
Semi-major axis a 217.11748987 AU
32,480,314,241 km
Orbital period period 3,199.2665 years
1,168,532.0834 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2022-Jan-26 14:41:49
2,459,606.1124 JD
Next perihelion transit 5221-May-27 16:41
3,628,138.1958 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 321.47125886614°
Longitude of the ascending node node 182.75519866412°
Mean anomaly M 0.0072052318516341°
Mean motion n 0.00030808°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2021 U5 (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 U5 (Catalina)
View Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2021 U5 (Catalina) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2021 U5 (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 U5 (Catalina) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 Jan 22 15h 59m 49s +05° 57’ 30” 26.52 Serpens
2023 Jan 23 16h 00m 36s +06° 02’ 53” 26.54 Serpens
2023 Jan 24 16h 01m 21s +06° 08’ 21” 26.56 Serpens
2023 Jan 25 16h 02m 04s +06° 13’ 55” 26.58 Serpens
2023 Jan 26 16h 02m 48s +06° 19’ 35” 26.60 Serpens
2023 Jan 27 16h 03m 30s +06° 25’ 19” 26.62 Serpens
2023 Jan 28 16h 04m 13s +06° 31’ 09” 26.64 Serpens
2023 Jan 29 16h 04m 54s +06° 37’ 05” 26.66 Serpens
2023 Jan 30 16h 05m 35s +06° 43’ 05” 26.67 Serpens
2023 Jan 31 16h 06m 15s +06° 49’ 10” 26.69 Serpens
2023 Feb 01 16h 06m 55s +06° 55’ 22” 26.71 Serpens
2023 Feb 02 16h 07m 33s +07° 01’ 37” 26.73 Serpens
2023 Feb 03 16h 08m 12s +07° 07’ 59” 26.75 Serpens
2023 Feb 04 16h 08m 48s +07° 14’ 25” 26.77 Serpens