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🌎  Observing from: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) is currently in the constellation of Auriga. The current Right Ascension of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) is 07h 20m 03s and the Declination is +38° 01’ 00” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]).

Summary of key facts about Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) [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]:

07h 20m 03s
+38° 01’ 00”

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/2012 S1 (ISON) available on TheSkyLive:

Available Resources

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) 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/2012 S1 (ISON) in Auriga on February, 07 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Map showing Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) in Auriga 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/2012 S1 (ISON) is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

C/2012 S1 (ISON)
RA: 07h 20m 03s
Dec: +38° 01’ 00”
Deep sky finder chart for Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) Distance from Earth

The distance of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) from Earth is currently 3,731,962,711 kilometers, equivalent to 24.946630 Astronomical Units. Light takes 3 hours, 27 minutes and 28.4877 seconds to travel from Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) and arrive to us.

3 hours, 27 minutes and 28.4877 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) 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/2012 S1 (ISON) 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/2012 S1 (ISON) from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest approach of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) to Earth

Between January 2013 and December 2100, the closest approach of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) to Earth happens on Fri Dec 27 2013 at a distance of 0.430624 Astronomical Units, or 64,420,498 kilometers:

Fri Dec 27 2013

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

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) brightness

The current visual magnitude of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) is -100.00.


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.

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) 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/2012 S1 (ISON) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change] are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 52.0°
Max altitude: 76.5°
Azimuth: 308.0°

The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) 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/2012 S1 (ISON) Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) at epoch 30 April 2013 00:00 UTC (JD: 2456413.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 1.00000510
Orbit inclination i 62.16289398°
Perihelion distance q 0.01246671 AU
1,864,994 km
Aphelion distance Q n.a.
Semi-major axis a n.a.
Orbital period period n.a.
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2013-Nov-28 18:20:55
2,456,625.2645 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 345.54119894206°
Longitude of the ascending node node 295.68654180456°
Mean anomaly M -0.00172478090192°
Mean motion n 0.00000814°/day

Visualization of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) 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/2012 S1 (ISON)
View Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 Jan 31 07h 21m 23s +38° 01’ 06” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 01 07h 21m 11s +38° 01’ 09” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 02 07h 21m 01s +38° 01’ 09” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 03 07h 20m 49s +38° 01’ 09” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 04 07h 20m 39s +38° 01’ 09” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 05 07h 20m 27s +38° 01’ 06” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 06 07h 20m 17s +38° 01’ 05” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 07 07h 20m 07s +38° 01’ 01” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 08 07h 19m 56s +38° 00’ 57” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 09 07h 19m 45s +38° 00’ 52” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 10 07h 19m 36s +38° 00’ 47” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 11 07h 19m 26s +38° 00’ 41” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 12 07h 19m 15s +38° 00’ 33” N.A. Auriga
2023 Feb 13 07h 19m 05s +38° 00’ 25” N.A. Auriga