Director: Nick James
Nov 07 Szymon Liwo reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 13 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 15 Sergey Shurpakov reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Nov 16 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Nov 17 Trygve Prestgard reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Nov 17 Worachate Boonplod reports two Kreutz group comets in real time C3 images Nov 19 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 22 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 23 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Nov 23 Worachate Boonplod reports two Kreutz group comets in real time C2 images Nov 27 Worachate Boonplod and Szymon Liwo report a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Nov 28 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 29 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 30 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Dec 01 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Dec 05 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Dec 05 Worachate Boonplod reports two Kreutz group comets in real time C3 images Dec 06 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 PanSTARRS (2015 ER61) 10.5 bright 45 N to 30 S early morning 2016 December Johnson (2015 V2) 10.5 bright 90 N to 5 S morning 2016 December 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova 11 bright 20 N to 30 S early evening 2016 December NEOWISE (2016 U1) 11.5 bright 90 N to 5 N morning 2016 December 144P/Kushida 12 fade 60 N to 35 S morning 2016 December 237P/LINEAR 12 fade Poor elongation 2016 November 43P/Wolf-Harrington 12.5 fade 45 N to 45 S early morning 2016 December 2P/Encke 13 ? bright 65 N to 40 S evening Not yet observed 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 13 ? varies 10 N to 20 S early evening 2016 November Spacewatch (2011 KP36) 13 fade 55 N to 50 S evening 2016 November 81P/Wild 13.5 fade In conjunction 2016 July PanSTARRS (2013 X1) 13.5 fade Poor elongation 2016 August 41P/Tuttle-Giacobinni-Kresak [14 ? bright 50 N to 35 S morning Not yet observedThe 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 fully updated at the beginning of each month, but may be updated more frequently for comets brighter than 10th magnitude; the date of the most recent complete update is given. Beginners will often find comets fainter than about 7th magnitude difficult to locate - see below for information on positions and finder charts.
Light curves of comets brighter than 10th magnitude or predicted to become that bright (aperture corrected for potential naked eye comets) [click on thumbnail to get the full scale image updated on December 6]. The dotted lines represent 99% confidence limits. 2015 ER61, 2015 V2
Comet magnitude parameters [ updated 2016 December 6].
Longer period ephemerides are given here for planning purposes for comets that may reach naked eye brightness. All are for the UK. The ephemerides give B1950 and J2000 positions. Modern star charts use J2000, but older atlases will use B1950. The predicted magnitudes are extremely uncertain.
Planning aids and information for forthcoming comets
The MPC also has a list of the last observation for all comets. Electronic 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. In addition, the MPC has orbital elements for unusual asteroids, many of which have cometary orbits.
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.
Visual and visual equivalent magnitude observations should be sent to me at <jds [at] ast.com.ac.uk> in simple text format. 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, however the ICQ have not updated their observation keys since 2010. These additional keys are suggested for use when submitting observations to the BAA (updated 2016 December 1). Visual observations should be entered using the Comet Observation Database data entry system and emailed to me at the end of the month. Observations are usually analysed and sent to TA as soon as possible after the end of the month; any late observations will be used in subsequent analyses. Observations will continue to be published by Guy Hurst in The Astronomer magazine in TA format. There is also a visual drawing form.
Images should be sent to Denis Buczynski.
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 visual co-ordinator, 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.