Director: Nick James
Sep 29 Discovery of 2020 S5 (P/PanSTARRS) reported Sep 29 Peiyuan Sun and Sergey Shurpakov report a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Sep 30 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Oct 02 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Oct 09 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Oct 12 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Oct 14 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Oct 15 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Oct 15 2007 VQ11 recovered, but not yet designated Oct 18 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Oct 21 Discovery of 2020 S6 (P/Leonard) reported Oct 21 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Oct 22 Recovery of 2007 VQ11 (P/Catalina) as 2020 T1 reported Oct 22 Discovery of 2020 T2 (Palomar) reported Oct 22 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kracht group comet in real time C3 images Oct 23 P/Bressi designated as 2020 M6 at this return Oct 23 Trygve Prestgard reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Oct 23 Discovery of 2020 T3 (P/PanSTARRS) reported Oct 23 Discovery of 2020 T4 (PanSTARRS) reported Oct 24 Worachate Boonplod reports a Meyer group comet in real time C2 images Oct 25 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Oct 25 2013 TL117 (P/Lemmon) recovered as 2020 U1 Oct 26 Worachate Boonplod reports a non-group comet in real time C2 images Oct 27 Discovery of 2020 S7 (P/PanSTARRS) reported Oct 27 Discovery of 2020 S8 (Lemmon) reported Oct 27 Discovery of 2020 T5 (Lemmon) reported Oct 27 Discovery of 2020 U2 (P/PanSTARRS) reported Oct 28 Discovery of 2020 U3 (Rankin) reported Oct 28 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 2020 M3 (ATLAS) 8.5 steady 55 N to 65 S morning 2020 October 88P/Howell 9.5 steady 40 N to 65 S evening 2020 October 2020 S3 (Erasmus) 10 bright 55 N to 40 S early morning 2020 October 156P/Russell-LINEAR 10.5 steady 30 N to 70 S best evening 2020 October 2019 N1 (ATLAS) 11 bright Conjunction 2020 August 58P/Jackson-Neujmin 11 fade 70 N to 50 S morning 2020 August 2017 T2 (PanSTARRS) 11.5 fade 0 N to 15 S early evening 2020 September 2020 P1 (NEOWISE) 12 fade 85 N to 25 N early morning Not yet observed 2020 Q1 (Borisov) 12 fade 85 N to 30 S evening 2020 September 2020 K8 (Catalina-ATLAS) 12 fade Poor elongation 2020 August 2019 U6 (Lemmon) 12 fade 55 N to 0 S early evening 2020 October 2020 F3 (NEOWISE) 13 fade Poor elongation 2020 September 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 13 ? varies 80 N to 35 S best morning 2020 September 2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) 14 bright 70 N to 15 N evening 2020 September 2018 N2 (ASASSN) 14 fade 80 N to 25 N most night 2020 January 2018 F4 (PanSTARRS) 14 fade 10 N to 70 S best morning 2019 DecemberDetails are usually updated at the beginning of each month, but may be updated more frequently for brighter comets. The last partial update was on October 25. 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 October 2]. The dotted lines represent 99% confidence limits. 2020 M3, 2020 P1.
Comet magnitude parameters [ updated 2020 October 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 2020 October 3). 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, Peter Carson, 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. Thanks are due to all of them.
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 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.