Director: Nick James
Dec 18 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Dec 19 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Dec 20 Rainer Kracht reports a Kracht II group comet in real time C2 images Dec 20 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Dec 21 Discovery of 2019 W1 (P/PanSTARRS) reported Dec 23 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Dec 24 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Dec 29 Masanori Uchina reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C2 images Jan 04 Peter Berrett reports a non-group comet in real time C2 images Jan 05 Discovery of 2019 Y1 (ATLAS) reported Jan 07 Discovery of 2019 Y2 (P/Fuls) reported Jan 09 Discovery of 2019 Y3 (P/Catalina) reported Jan 10 Discovery of 2019 Y4 (ATLAS) reported Jan 12 Discovery of A/2020 A1 [NEOWISE}reported Jan 12 Discovery of A/2019 Y5 [PanSTARRS] reported Jan 12 Discovery of 2019 X2 (P/PanSTARRS) Jan 13 Worachate Boonplod reports a Kreutz group comet in real time C3 images Jan 13 Discovery of 2020 A2 reported Jan 17 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) 9.5 bright 90 N to 20 S all night 2019 December ASASSN (2018 N2) 12 fade 90 N to 25 S evening 2019 December 289P/Blanpain 12 ? steady 75 N to 20 S evening Not yet observed ATLAS (2019 Y1) 12.5 bright 35 N to 35 S early evening Not yet observed 68P/Klemola 12.5 fade 40 N to 20 S early evening 2019 October 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 13 ? varies 75 N to 35 S evening 2019 November 260P/McNaught 13.5 fade 90 N to 5 S best evening 2019 December 2020 A2 (Iwamoto) 14 steady Poor elongation 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 2019 December 31]. The dotted lines represent 99% confidence limits. 2017 T2.
Comet magnitude parameters [ updated 2020 January 4].
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.
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.