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Comet Encke (2P/Encke)

Comet Encke (2P/Encke) is currently in the constellation of Aquarius. The current Right Ascension of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) is 23h 00m 13s and the Declination is -07° 59’ 48” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]). The current estimated magnitude of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) is 20.75 (JPL).

Summary of key facts about Comet Encke (2P/Encke) [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]:

23h 00m 13s
-07° 59’ 48”

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Additional information about Comet Encke (2P/Encke) available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet Encke (2P/Encke) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet Encke (2P/Encke) 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 Encke (2P/Encke) in Aquarius on May, 17 2021
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet Encke (2P/Encke) in Aquarius on May, 17 2021
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 Encke (2P/Encke) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

Encke's Comet
RA: 23h 00m 13s
Dec: -07° 59’ 48”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet Encke (2P/Encke)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet Encke (2P/Encke)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet Encke (2P/Encke) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet Encke (2P/Encke) Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) from Earth is currently 545,161,030 kilometers, equivalent to 3.644176 Astronomical Units. Light takes 30 minutes and 18.4615 seconds to travel from Comet Encke (2P/Encke) and arrive to us.

30 minutes and 18.4615 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) 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 Encke (2P/Encke) 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 Encke's Comet from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) to Earth happens on Sat Jul 7 2063 at a distance of 0.194704 Astronomical Units, or 29,127,290 kilometers:

Sat Jul 7 2063

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

Comet Encke (2P/Encke) brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) is 20.75.


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 Encke (2P/Encke), 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 Encke (2P/Encke) between January 2013 and December 2100

Comet Encke (2P/Encke) 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 Encke (2P/Encke) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 98.0°
Max altitude: 30.5°
Azimuth: 262.0°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) 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 Encke (2P/Encke) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) at epoch 01 August 2015 00:00 UTC (JD: 2457236.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.84833455
Orbit inclination i 11.78140928°
Perihelion distance q 0.33596218 AU
50,259,227 km
Aphelion distance Q 4.09434395 AU
612,505,138 km
Semi-major axis a 2.21515306 AU
331,382,182 km
Orbital period period 3.3000 years
1,204.2150 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2017-Mar-10 00:35:58
2,457,822.5250 JD
Next perihelion transit 2020-Jun-26 05:45
2,459,026.7400 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 186.54667712623°
Longitude of the ascending node node 334.5675718263°
Mean anomaly M 184.80787129442°
Mean motion n 0.29894993°/day

Visualization of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) 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 Encke (2P/Encke)
View Comet Encke (2P/Encke) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet Encke (2P/Encke) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet Encke (2P/Encke) computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet Encke (2P/Encke) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2021 May 10 22h 56m 31s -08° 25’ 33” 20.78 Aquarius
2021 May 11 22h 57m 02s -08° 22’ 00” 20.78 Aquarius
2021 May 12 22h 57m 33s -08° 18’ 30” 20.78 Aquarius
2021 May 13 22h 58m 03s -08° 15’ 06” 20.77 Aquarius
2021 May 14 22h 58m 32s -08° 11’ 45” 20.77 Aquarius
2021 May 15 22h 58m 59s -08° 08’ 30” 20.77 Aquarius
2021 May 16 22h 59m 26s -08° 05’ 18” 20.76 Aquarius
2021 May 17 22h 59m 53s -08° 02’ 12” 20.76 Aquarius
2021 May 18 23h 00m 19s -07° 59’ 11” 20.75 Aquarius
2021 May 19 23h 00m 42s -07° 56’ 14” 20.75 Aquarius
2021 May 20 23h 01m 06s -07° 53’ 22” 20.75 Aquarius
2021 May 21 23h 01m 29s -07° 50’ 35” 20.74 Aquarius
2021 May 22 23h 01m 53s -07° 47’ 54” 20.74 Aquarius
2021 May 23 23h 02m 13s -07° 45’ 17” 20.73 Aquarius