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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 7:48  
clear_day Transit: 11:49  
SunsetSet: 15:50 south
sleep NighttimeWhat's Visible Now?
Comets » 

Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS)

Altitude: -43.8°   Azimuth: 344.2°   Direction: North-North-West

Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) was discovered by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) on 22 February 2023 and it was also independently observed few weeks before in January 2023 at the Tsuchinshan Chinese Observatory (Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences). The official designation includes both Tsuchinshan and ATLAS due to these independent observations. Its retrograde orbit, meaning it moves in the opposite direction to most major solar system objects, is parabolic-like with a perihelion distance of 0.39 astronomical units (AU). Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) is notable and actively observed because, based on current estimations, it is could become bright enough to be visible to the naked eye during its perihelion passage between September and October 2024.

Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) is currently in the constellation of Libra.

The current Right Ascension of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) is 14h 48m 41s and the Declination is -06° 13’ 27” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current estimated magnitude of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) is 15.71 (JPL) while the latest observed magnitude is 14.5 (COBS).

14h 48m 41s
-06° 13’ 27”

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/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 96.2°
Max altitude: 32.3°
Azimuth: 263.8°
  • C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) is visible with the help of a telescope having an aperture of 20 inches (500mm) 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/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-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.

Finder chart of C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) in Libra on December,06 2023
Map showing Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) in Libra on December, 06 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS)
Map showing Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) in Libra on December, 06 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS)
RA: 14h 48m 41s
Dec: -06° 13’ 27”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) from Earth is currently 796,063,347 kilometers, equivalent to 5.321355 Astronomical Units. Light takes 44 minutes and 15.3815 seconds to travel from Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) and arrive to us.

44 minutes and 15.3815 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-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.

Chart of the distance of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) 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/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) to Earth

Between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2099, the closest approach of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) to Earth happens on Sun Oct 13 2024 at a distance of 0.476126 Astronomical Units, or 71,227,371 kilometers:

Sun Oct 13 2024

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

Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-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.

Chart of the magnitude of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) as a function of time

Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) at epoch 21 February 2023 00:00 UTC (JD: 2459997.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.99979084
Orbit inclination i 139.08799014°
Perihelion distance q 0.39045740 AU
58,411,595 km
Aphelion distance Q 3,733.23302205 AU
558,483,712,045 km
Semi-major axis a 1,866.81173972 AU
279,271,061,820 km
Orbital period period 80,660.1429 years
29,461,117.2080 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2024-Sep-28 11:34:04
2,460,581.9820 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 308.58254303089°
Longitude of the ascending node node 21.580336863956°
Mean anomaly M 359.99285792459°
Mean motion n 0.00001222°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-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/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS)
View Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-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/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 Nov 29 14h 44m 24s -05° 48’ 02” 15.84 Virgo
2023 Nov 30 14h 44m 57s -05° 51’ 21” 15.83 Virgo
2023 Dec 01 14h 45m 29s -05° 54’ 41” 15.81 Virgo
2023 Dec 02 14h 46m 03s -05° 57’ 56” 15.79 Virgo
2023 Dec 03 14h 46m 36s -06° 01’ 11” 15.78 Libra
2023 Dec 04 14h 47m 08s -06° 04’ 23” 15.76 Libra
2023 Dec 05 14h 47m 40s -06° 07’ 33” 15.74 Libra
2023 Dec 06 14h 48m 14s -06° 10’ 42” 15.73 Libra
2023 Dec 07 14h 48m 46s -06° 13’ 49” 15.71 Libra
2023 Dec 08 14h 49m 18s -06° 16’ 53” 15.69 Libra
2023 Dec 09 14h 49m 50s -06° 19’ 54” 15.67 Libra
2023 Dec 10 14h 50m 22s -06° 22’ 54” 15.66 Libra
2023 Dec 11 14h 50m 54s -06° 25’ 51” 15.64 Libra
2023 Dec 12 14h 51m 25s -06° 28’ 46” 15.62 Libra