Director: Nick James
Aug 25 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kracht group comet in real time C2 images Aug 25 Junda Liu and Peiyuan Sun report a bright Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Aug 27 Discovery of 2020 Q2 (PanSTARRS) reported Aug 29 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Aug 31 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Sep 06 Peiyuan Sun reports a non-group comet in real time C3 images Sep 07 Recovery of 2013 O2 (P/PanSTARRS) as 2020 O4 reported Sep 09 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Sep 09 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Sep 10 Peiyuan Sun reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Sep 13 Discovery of 2020 R1 (P/PanSTARRS) reported Sep 13 Peiyuan Sun reports a Meyer group comet in real time C3 images Sep 14 Discovery of 2020 R2 (PanSTARRS) reported Sep 14 Recovery of 2006 H1 (P/McNaught) as 2020 R3 reported Sep 15 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Sep 15 Michal Biesiada reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Sep 16 Discovery of 2020 R4 (ATLAS) reported Sep 19 Discovery of 2020 R5 (P/PanSTARRS) reported Sep 19 Discovery of 2020 S1 (P/PanSTARRS) reported Sep 20 Discovery of 2020 S2 (PanSTARRS) reported Sep 20 Discovery of 2020 S3 (Erasmus) reported Sep 22 Discovery of 2020 R6 (Rankin) reported Sep 22 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 88P/Howell 9.5 steady 40 N to 80 S evening 2020 September 2020 F3 (NEOWISE) 9.5 fade 45 N to 70 S evening 2020 September 2020 K8 (Catalina-ATLAS) 10.5 steady 30 N to 30 S early morning 2020 August 2020 M3 (ATLAS) 11 bright 30 N to 80 S best morning 2020 August 2019 N1 (ATLAS) 11 bright Poor elongation 2020 August 2020 Q1 (Borisov) 11 steady 65 N to 20 S best morning 2020 September 2017 T2 (PanSTARRS) 11 fade 45 N to 55 S early evening 2020 September 58P/Jackson-Neujmin 11 fade 60 N to 50 S morning 2020 August 2019 U6 (Lemmon) 11.5 fade 60 N to 30 S evening 2020 September 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 13 ? varies 65 N to 40 S best morning 2020 September 2P/Encke 13 fade 25 N to 80 S evening 2020 August 2018 N2 (ASASSN) 13.5 fade 65 N to 35 N all night 2020 January 2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) 14.5 bright 65 N to 10 S evening 2020 AugustDetails are usually updated at the beginning of each month, but may be updated more frequently for brighter comets. The last partial update was on September 7. The 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 that may become brighter than 10th magnitude (aperture corrected for potential naked eye comets) [click on thumbnail to get the full scale image, updated on 2020 July 2]. The dotted lines represent 99% confidence limits. None at present.
Comet magnitude parameters [ updated 2020 September 2].
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.