Apr 24 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Apr 24 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Apr 24 Sergey Shurpakov reports a Kreutz group comet in C3 images Apr 25 Andreas Boattini discovers comet 2013 H2 Apr 25 Trygve Prestgard reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Apr 26 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Apr 27 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Apr 29 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images May 02 Object 2013 EV9 noted to have cometary features May 03 Bo Zhou reports a Meyer group comet in real time C2 images May 04 2007 H1 (P/McNaught) recovered as 2013 J1 May 07 Eryk Banach reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images May 08 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images May 10 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images May 10 Szymon Liwo and Zhijian Xu report a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images May 11 Rob McNaught discovers periodic comet 2013 J2 May 11 Rob McNaught discovers comet 2013 J3 May 11 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images May 11 Szymon Liwo reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images May 13 PanSTARRS discovers periodic comet 2013 J4 May 13 The Tenagra group discovers periodic comet 2013 EW90 May 13 Pedro Maysonet reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images May 15 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images May 15 Eryk Banach reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images May 15 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images May 16 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images May 20 Andrea Boattini discovers comet 2013 J5 May 20 Eric Christensen discovers comet 2013 K1 May 21 The Catalina Sky Survey discovers comet 2013 J6 May 21 Zhijian Xu reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images May 21 Bo Zhou reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images May 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 Lemmon (2012 F6) 7.5 fade 55 N to 50 S dawn 2013 May PanSTARRS (2011 L4) 8 fade 55 N to 5 N all night 2013 May LINEAR (2012 L2) 9 steady 0 N to 60 S early evening 2013 May LINEAR (2011 F1) 11 ? steady 10 S to 90 S morning 2012 November LONEOS (2006 S3) 11 fade 45 N to 70 S best morning 2013 May Iwamoto (2013 E2) 12 fade 35 N to 45 S dawn 2013 May 63P/Wild 12 steady 50 N to 55 S evening 2013 May McNaught (2011 R1) 12 steady 55 N to 45 S all night 2013 April 246P/NEAT 12 steady ? 40 N to 90 S best morning 2013 March LINEAR (2012 A2) 13 fade Poor elongation 2012 November 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 13 ? varies 40 N to 85 S best evening 2013 March Garradd (2009 P1) 13.5 ? fade 30 N to 65 S evening 2012 November LINEAR (2010 S1) 13.5 steady 55 N to 25 S morning 2013 May PanSTARRS (2012 K1) 13.5 bright 55 N to 40 S all night 2013 May ISON (2012 S1) 14 bright 30 N to 0 S early evening 2013 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 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 April, are used in the ephemerides, but note that ephemerides are not updated every time the magnitude parameters are.
The following lists [updated 2013 April 16] 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.
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, Roger Dymock, John Fletcher, Marco Goiato, Juan Gonzalez, Bjorn Granslo, 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.