Aug 02 Bo Zhou reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Aug 03 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Aug 04 Worachate Boonplod reports a Meyer group comet in real time C2 images Aug 10 Recovery of 2007 V2 (P/Hill) as 2015 P1 reported Aug 10 Michal Biesiada reports a Meyer group comet in real time C2 images Aug 11 Recovery of 2002 Q1 (P/Van Ness) as 2015 P2 reported Aug 11 Discovery of 2015 P3 (SWAN) by Michael Mattiazzo reported Aug 19 Worachate Boonplod reports a Meyer group comet in real time C2 images Aug 19 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Aug 19 Discovery of 2015 P4 (P/PanSTARRS) reported Aug 19 Discovery of 2015 Q1 (Scotti) reported Aug 20 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Aug 27 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Aug 31 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 Catalina (2013 US10) 6.5 bright 15 N to 85 S all night 2015 August PanSTARRS (2014 Q1) 10 fade 5 S to 85 S evening 2015 August Lovejoy (2014 Q2) 10 fade 65 N to 25 S all night 2015 August Jacques (2015 F4) 11.5 fade 65 N to 25 S all night 2015 August 88P/Howell 11.5 fade 65 N to 55 S best morning 2015 August 22P/Kopff 12 bright 30 N to 70 S evening 2015 August 141P/Machholz 12 outburst 55 N to 25 S early morning 2015 August 19P/Borelly 12 ? fade Poor elongation Not yet observed SWAN (2015 P3) 12 fade 10 N to 85 S evening 2015 August 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko 12.5 bright 45 N to 5 S early morning 2015 August Spacewatch (2011 KP36) 12.5 ? steady 55 N to 60 S best evening Not yet observed MASTER (2015 G2) 12.5 fade Poor elongation 2015 June 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 13 ? varies 30 N to 85 S best evening 2015 August PanSTARRS (2012 F3) 13.5 ? fade 45 N to 65 S best evening 2014 May 10P/Tempel 14 ? bright 40 N to 75 S evening Not yet observed PanSTARRS (2012 K1) 14 ? fade 25 N to 80 S best morning 2015 JanuaryThe 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.
Planning aids and information for forthcoming comets
An explanation of the information in the ephemerides is given here. The following magnitude parameters, last updated 2015 August 31, are used in the ephemerides, but note that ephemerides are not updated every time the magnitude parameters are.
The following lists [updated 2015 August 31] 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. The elements and ephemerides from the JPL Small-Body Database Browser give estimates of the errors, which are often far larger than might be thought from the accuracy of the elements given by the CBAT. 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 2015 newsletter, which has a report of an RAS meeting, an article on Rosetta, 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, 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 2015 February 1). 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.