Oct 24 Zhijian Xu reports a Meyer group comet in real time C2 images Oct 25 1997 G1 (P/Montani) recovered as 2014 U1 Oct 27 Discovery of comets 2014 U2 and 2014 U3 by Richard Kowalski reported Oct 28 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Oct 30 Tail detected on (62412)2000 SY178 Oct 30 Trygve Prestgard reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Oct 30 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 01 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 06 Zhijian Xu reports a Marsden group comet in real time C2 images Nov 09 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 10 Discovery of comet 2014 U4 (P/PanSTARRS) reported Nov 11 The countdown to release of Philae from Rosetta is ticking. Nov 12 Philae lands (several times) - what an amazing achievement. Find out more from the BAA. Nov 14 Discovery of comet 2014 V1 (P/PanSTARRS) reported Nov 14 Bo Zhou reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 14 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 15 Bo Zhou reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 15 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 17 Trygve Prestgard reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 17 Michal Biesiada reports a Meyer group comet in real time C2 images Nov 19 Recovery of 2005 RV25 as 2014 U5 announced Nov 19 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 20 A second fragment of 2011 J2 reported Nov 20 Bo Zhou reports a Meyer group comet in real time C2 images Nov 20 Worachate Boonplod and Michal Biesiada report a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 20 Worachate Boonplod reports a non-group comet in real time C2 images Nov 21 Discovery of comets 2014 W1 to W4 (PanSTARRS) reported Nov 22 Discovery of comet 2014 W5 (Lemmon-PanSTARRS) reported Nov 22 Discovery of comet 2014 W6 (Catalina) reported Nov 22 Szymon Liwo reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Nov 23 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 (2012 K1) 8 fade 25 N to 55 S all night 2014 November Lovejoy (2014 Q2) 9 bright 30 N to 55 S best morning 2014 November Oukaimeden (2013 V5) 10.5 fade In conjunction 2014 October Borisov (2014 Q3) 11 bright 90 N to 25 N all night 2014 November Borisov (2014 R1) 11.5 bright 60 N to 10 S early morning 2014 November Siding Spring (2013 A1) 11.5 fade Poor elongation 2014 November 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 13 ? varies Poor elongation 2014 May PanSTARRS (2012 F3) 13.5 ? steady In conjunction 2014 May 108P/Ciffreo 13.5 steady 85 N to 25 S best morning Not yet observed Jacques (2014 E2) 13.5 fade 50 N to 20 S early evening 2014 October LINEAR (2012 X1) 13.5 fade 10 N to 60 S best evening 2014 October Catalina (2013 US10) 14 bright 30 N to 55 S evening 2014 October P/NEOWISE (2014 L2) 14 fade 40 N to 50 S evening 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 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 2014 November 16, are used in the ephemerides, but note that ephemerides are not updated every time the magnitude parameters are.
The following lists [updated 2014 November 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 2014 newsletter, which has reports of several meetings, an article, 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> 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. 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.