Director: Nick James
Jan 18 Peter Berrett reports two Meyer group comets in archive C2 images Jan 19 Peter Berrett reports a Kracht group comet in archive C2 images Jan 20 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Jan 20 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Jan 21 Discovery of 2020 A3 (ATLAS) reported Jan 23 Worachate Boonplod reports a non-group comet in real time C2 images Jan 29 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Jan 29 Peter Berrett reports a Meyer group comet in archive C2 images Jan 29 Discovery of 2020 B1 (A/PanSTARRS) reported Jan 31 Peter Berrett reports a non-group comet in archive C2 images Feb 01 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Feb 03 Cometary nature of 2019 C1 (ATLAS) reported Feb 03 Peter Berrett reports a non-group comet in archive C2 images Feb 05 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Feb 05 Peter Berrett reports a Meyer group comet in archive C2 images Feb 06 Discovery of 2020 B2 (Lemmon) reported Feb 06 Discovery of 2020 B3 (Rankin) reported Feb 08 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Feb 09 Worachate Boonplod reports two Kreutz group comets in real time C3 images Feb 10 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Feb 11 Peter Berrett reports a Meyer group comet in archive C2 images Feb 13 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Feb 16 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 (2017 T2) 9 bright 90 N to 10 S all night 2020 February ATLAS (2019 Y1) 11.5 bright 30 N to 10 N early evening 2020 January 2020 A2 (Iwamoto) 12 steady 90 N to 0 N morning 2020 February ASASSN (2018 N2) 12.5 fade 90 N to 15 N evening 2020 January 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 13 ? varies 75 N to 15 S evening 2019 November 2019 Y4 (ATLAS) 14 bright 85 N to 10 S all night Not yet observed 88P/Howell 16 ? bright 55 N to 55 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. 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 2020 February 5]. The dotted lines represent 99% confidence limits. 2017 T2.
Comet magnitude parameters [ updated 2020 February 5].
Planning aids and information for forthcoming comets, valid out to about 2025.
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 , which uses special keys to code observation particulars, is now standardised as the one to use for submission and archiving of observations. The ICQ have not updated their observation keys since 2010, so these additional keys are suggested for use when submitting observations to the BAA (updated 2017 January 4). Crni Vhr Observatory has launched the Comet Observation Database which allows entry of observations in ICQ format, and plots of light curves. Visual observations entered using this system should be 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 with a TA deadline of the 2nd; 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. The German comet group also has a computer program that will correctly format observations for the ICQ [2009 December].
Images should be sent to Denis Buczynski.
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, Werner Hasubick, Kevin Hills, Nick James, Heinz Kerner, Carlos Labordena, Rolando Ligustri, Michael Mattiazzo, Maik Mayer, Antonio Milani, Martin Mobberley, Jose Navarro Pina, Gabriel Oksa, Mieczyslaw Paradowski, Nirmal Paul, Stuart Rae, Walter Robledo, Tony Scarmato, Willian Souza, David Strange Johan Warrell and Seiichi Yoshida, several of whom contribute observations from their colleagues.
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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.