We use cookies to deliver essential features and to measure their performance. Learn more.
We're free & ads-free thanks to your support
public LocationGreenwich, UK
TimezoneEurope/London
Sunrise: 4:58 
Transit: 13:04 
Sunset: 21:09
sunny   (Daytime)   What's Visible Now?
Comets » 

Comet Halley (1P/Halley)

Below the horizon.  Rise: 7:33 | Tran: 13:48 | Set: 20:03
Altitude: -8.4°   Azimuth: 73.6°   Direction: East-North-East

Comet Halley (1P/Halley) is in the constellation of Hydra, at a distance of 5,397,827,935 kilometers from Earth. The current Right Ascension is 08h 17m 05s and the Declination is +03° 17’ 36” (apparent coordinates). The predicted magnitude of Comet Halley (1P/Halley) is 25.65 (data provided by JPL Horizons).

Finder chart of 1P/Halley in Hydra on July,13 2024
Map showing Comet Halley (1P/Halley) in Hydra on July, 13 2024. Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View interactive star map

Comet 1P/Halley, also known as Halley's Comet, is a well-known periodic comet that returns to the inner solar system about once every 76 years. It has been observed since ancient times, but it was not recognized as a periodic solar system object until its orbit was accurately calculated by Edmund Halley in the 18th century. The comet's nucleus is estimated to be about 15 kilometers in diameter and it is composed of ice, dust, and small rocky particles. When the comet gets close to the Sun, the heat causes the ice to vaporize and create a coma, a cloud of gas and dust around the nucleus, and a long tail that can stretch millions of kilometers into space. Halley's Comet has an aphelion distance of 35.1 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun, at the outer edge of the Kuiper Belt, and a perihelion distance of 0.6 AU, just inside the orbit of Venus. Its last perihelion passage was in 1986. Currently Halley's Comet is close to its aphelion and it is expected to return to the inner solar system in 2061.

Celestial Coordinates

Apparent

08h 17m 05s
+03° 17’ 36”

J2000

08h 15m 48s
+03° 22’ 12”

Additional Information

Hydra
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
25.65

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.

Rise and Set Times

Today's rise, transit and set times of Comet Halley (1P/Halley) from Greenwich, UK (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 86.6°
Max altitude: 41.9°
Azimuth: 273.4°
  • 1P/Halley is below the horizon from Greenwich, UK.
  • Given its current magnitude, 1P/Halley is visible only through long exposure photography.
  • 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.

Finder Charts

Finder chart of 1P/Halley
Sky map showing Comet Halley (1P/Halley) in Hydra on July, 13 2024. Field of view: 10x6 degrees. View in interactive sky chart

High precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Comet Halley (1P/Halley) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

1P/Halley
RA: 08h 15m 48s
Dec: +03° 22’ 12”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet Halley (1P/Halley). Field of view: 60x40 arcmins. View in deep sky object tracker

Also check out Where is Comet Halley (1P/Halley)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet Halley (1P/Halley) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet Halley (1P/Halley) from Earth is currently 5,397,827,935 kilometers, equivalent to 36.082251 Astronomical Units. Light takes 5 hours, 5.2159 seconds to travel from Comet Halley (1P/Halley) and arrive to us.

5,397,827,935
36.082251
5 hours, 5.2159 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet Halley (1P/Halley) 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 Halley (1P/Halley) 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 1P/Halley from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach

Between 1 January 1600 and 30 December 2499, the closest approach of Comet Halley (1P/Halley) to Earth happens on Sat May 8 2134 at a distance of 0.093428 Astronomical Units, or 13,976,613 kilometers:

Sat May 8 2134
13,976,613
0.093428

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

Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Comet Halley (1P/Halley), 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 Halley (1P/Halley) as a function of time

Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet Halley (1P/Halley) at epoch 01 January 1970 00:00 UTC (JD: 2439857.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.96794279
Orbit inclination i 162.18787119°
Perihelion distance q 0.57471580 AU
85,976,260 km
Aphelion distance Q 35.28091967 AU
5,277,950,470 km
Semi-major axis a 17.92781774 AU
2,681,963,365 km
Orbital period period 75.9101 years
27,726.1500 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 1986-Feb-08 15:34:24
2,446,470.1489 JD
Next perihelion transit 2062-Jan-06 19:10
2,474,196.2989 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 112.25779200487°
Longitude of the ascending node node 59.114482936739°
Mean anomaly M 274.14049194984°
Mean motion n 0.01298413°/day

Orbit Visualization

Orbit Diagram of Comet Halley (1P/Halley)
View Comet Halley (1P/Halley) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet Halley (1P/Halley) computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2024 Jul 06 08h 15m 06s +03° 23’ 40” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 07 08h 15m 11s +03° 23’ 30” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 08 08h 15m 18s +03° 23’ 20” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 09 08h 15m 24s +03° 23’ 08” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 10 08h 15m 29s +03° 22’ 55” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 11 08h 15m 35s +03° 22’ 42” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 12 08h 15m 41s +03° 22’ 30” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 13 08h 15m 47s +03° 22’ 15” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 14 08h 15m 52s +03° 22’ 00” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 15 08h 16m 00s +03° 21’ 47” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 16 08h 16m 05s +03° 21’ 30” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 17 08h 16m 11s +03° 21’ 15” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 18 08h 16m 18s +03° 20’ 58” 25.65 Hydra
2024 Jul 19 08h 16m 23s +03° 20’ 42” 25.65 Hydra

Additional Resources