Nov 08 Gennady Borisov discovers 2013 V2 Nov 08 Vitali Nevski discovers 2013 V3 Nov 09 Zhijian Xu reports a Kracht group comet in real time C2 images Nov 13 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 14 Peiyuan Sun and Bo Zhou report a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 15 Catalina Sky Survey discovers 18th magnitude comet 2013 V4 Nov 15 Comet 2013 V5 discovered at Oukaimeden Observatory by Michel Ory Nov 17 Szymon Liwo reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 20 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 22 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 23 Bo Zhou reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 23 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 24 Peiyuan Sun reports two Kreutz group comets in real time C2 images Nov 25 Szymon Liwo reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 27 PanSTARRS discovers periodic comet 2013 W1 Nov 27 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Nov 29 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Dec 02 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Dec 03 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Dec 05 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Dec 05 Comet 2013 W2 (PanSTARRS) announced Dec 06 Salil Mulye reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Dec 06 Comet 2013 X1 (PanSTARRS) announced Dec 07 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Dec 07 Update
If there have been no recent updates try The German comet group page or Seiichi Yoshida's page for information or the Liga Iberoamericana de Astronomia for observations.
Comet Magnitude Trend Observable When visible Last visual observation Lovejoy (2013 R1) 5 steady 90 N to 0 S best morning 2013 December ISON (2012 S1) 7.5 fade 80 N to 35 N early morning 2013 December 2P/Encke 8.5 fade Conjunction 2013 November LINEAR (2012 X1) 9 outburst 90 N to 0 N morning 2013 December P/Nevski (2013 V3) 9.5 outburst 90 N to 45 S best morning 2013 December LINEAR (2012 V2) 10.5 fade 5 S to 55 S best morning 2013 November 154P/Brewington 10.5 steady 80 N to 45 S evening 2013 December Borisov (2013 N4) 12 fade 30 N to 40 S early morning 2013 October 290P/Jager 13 bright 90 N to 25 S best morning 2013 December LINEAR (2011 F1) 13 ? fade 10 N to 55 S all night 2012 November 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 13 ? varies Poor elongation 2013 June LINEAR (2011 J2) 13 bright 90 N to 25 N all night 2013 December PanSTARRS (2012 K1) 13.5 bright Poor elongation 2013 August 102P/Shoemaker 13.5 ? steady 90 N to 25 S best evening Not yet observed LINEAR (2010 S1) 13.5 fade 65 N to 5 N early evening 2013 October 246P/NEAT 13.5 ? fade 20 N to 45 S early evening 2013 March LINEAR (2012 A2) 13.5 ? fade 75 N to 40 S evening 2012 November Lemmon (2012 F6) 13.5 fade 90 N to 15 N evening 2013 OctoberThe observable region is an approximate indication of the latitude at which the comet may be seen. Under good conditions comets may be visible outside this range. The period when visible is for the UK if the comet is visible from the UK, otherwise for 40 S or the Equator as appropriate. The last visual observation is as received by the Section, details are often updated on the basis of observations published elsewhere. Details are normally updated at the beginning and middle of each month, but may be updated more frequently for bright comets. Beginners will often find comets fainter than about 7th magnitude difficult to locate - see below for information on positions and finder charts.
Note that in general only details of currently visible comets are updated and that analyses of past years will be published in the BAA Journal.
Planning aids and information for forthcoming comets
An explanation of the information in the ephemerides is given here. The following magnitude parameters, last updated 2013 November 28, are used in the ephemerides, but note that ephemerides are not updated every time the magnitude parameters are.
The following lists [updated 2013 December 1] give the ephemeris details, including the approximate current magnitude and local visibility for all the comets in the CBAT list for the UK, the equator and 40 south. CCD observers should try and observe any comets that have not recently been observed according to the CBAT but which are expected to be within range of their equipment. Negative observations are also useful.
For positions of newly discovered comets see the NEO confirmation page . You can also generate your own ephemerides and elements at the CBAT Minor Planet and Comet Ephemeris Service web page. Seiichi Yoshida has pages for currently visible comets, which include finder charts. Seiichi also has a comet rendezvous page, which lists conjunctions between comets, variable stars and nebulae and a comet recovery page, which lists periodic comets not yet recovered at the present return. The T3 project aims to discover comets amongst the population of asteroids influenced by Jupiter. Following a hack at the MPC, MPECs etc are now available at this site
A plot of recent search areas by professional teams looking for NEOS.
Download the January 2013 newsletter, which has reports of the Rosetta planning meeting, the joint comet & asteroid section meeting, plus the usual reviews and forecasts
Download Richard Fleet's GraphDark software for graphically displaying comet (and other object) visibility. Latest version is 2.05, 2007 May.
Download William Schwittek's CometWin software for generating comet ephemerides and visibility diagrams. [Updated 2002 March 5]
Download Solex, N-body solar system dynamics software.
Images should be sent to Denis Buczynski at <cometobs [at] britastro.org> or to his personal email at <buczynski8166 [at] btinternet.com>. We would be particularly pleased to receive drawings, as well as CCD images and photographs. If you are submitting images, please use the standard name format for naming your files, for example 2001q4_20040515_shanklin.jpg.
Visual observations should be sent to me at <jds [at] ast.com.ac.uk>. Visual observers can use the BAA visual report form to log observations. To avoid the use of multiple formats the ICQ format is now standardised as the one to use for submission and archiving of observations. Observations will continue to be published by Guy Hurst in The Astronomer magazine in TA format. There is also a visual drawing form. I have written a data entry program that creates a file with data in the ICQ format which you can send to me by email. It now runs under Windows and is available as a self extracting zip file. [New version, 2004 February 2]. I have also written a program to convert from ICQ to TA format.
The German comet group also has a computer program that will correctly format observations for the ICQ [2009 December]. Crni Vhr Observatory has launched the Comet Observation Database which allows entry of observations in ICQ format, and plots of light curves. The ICQ format uses special keys to code observation particulars.
Regular contributors include James Abbott, Jose Aguiar, Alexander Amorim, Nicolas Biver, Denis Buczynski, Paul Camilleri, Matyas Csukas, Roger Dymock, John Fletcher, Marco Goiato, Juan Gonzalez, Bjorn Granslo, Kevin Hills, Nick James, Werner Hasubick, Heinz Kerner, Carlos Labordena, Rolando Ligustri, Michael Mattiazzo, Maik Mayer, Antonio Milani, Martin Mobberley, Gabriel Oksa, Mieczyslaw Paradowski, Stuart Rae, Walter Robledo, Tony Scarmato, Willian Souza, David Strange and Seiichi Yoshida, several of whom contribute observations from their colleagues.
Warning I receive a large number of emails containing viruses or other junk. Please try and make clear that your message is legitimate, otherwise it may be deleted without being read. It is advisable to use your own name, rather than an alias, in the 'from' field and use an obvious, recent subject.
Many thanks to those that regularly access this page for your interest. If you have any comments, suggestions for improvement or find any problems, please email the comet section director, Jon Shanklin, at j.shanklin @ bas.ac.uk. If you need to phone me, my home number is +44 (0)1223 571250 or my BAS number is +44 (0)1223 221482. Snail mail will reach me at the British Antarctic Survey, Madingley Road, CAMBRIDGE CB3 0ET, England. For information about my work with BAS see my web page at BAS.