BAA Comet Section : Comets discovered in 2024

Updated 2024 February 22


  • 2024 A1 (ATLAS)
  • 2024 A2 (ATLAS)
  • 2024 B1 (Lemmon)
  • 2024 B2 (Lemmon)
  • 2024 C1 (PANSTARRS)
  • 2024 C2 (PANSTARRS)
  • 2024 C3 (PANSTARRS)
  • 2024 C4 (ATLAS)
  • 2024 C5 (P/Lemmon-PANSTARRS)

  • 2024 A1 (ATLAS)
    The ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) team discovered a 19th magnitude comet in images taken with the 0.5 m Schmidt at Rio Hurtado, Chile on January 3.21. It was posted on the PCCP as A111kXD.  [MPEC 2024-B78, CBET 5333, 2024 January 21]. The comet is at perihelion at 3.9 au in 2025 June and is in a near perpendicular orbit.
    2024 A2 (ATLAS)
    The ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) team discovered an 18th magnitude object in images taken with the 0.5 m Schmidt at Rio Hurtado, Chile on January 15.34. It was posted on the PCCP as A112t8b.  Follow up observations showed it to be a comet. [MPEC 2024-C180, CBET 5349, 2024 February 15]. The comet is at perihelion at 1.9 au in 2024 April and has a period of around 200 years.
    2024 B1 (Lemmon)
    An object of 21st magnitude was discovered on January 16.17 in images taken with the 1.5-m reflector of the Mt Lemmon Survey. It was placed on the PCCP as CA698P2. PanSTARRS reported cometary activity in pre-discovery images taken on 2023 December 15.39, with further pre-discovery images on 2023 October 13, 19, 23, November 20, December 5, 9, 24 and 2024 January 3. [MPEC 2024-C86, CBET 5344, 2024 February 8]. The comet is at perihelion at 1.6 au in 2024 September.
    2024 B2 (Lemmon)
    An object of 21st magnitude was discovered on January 31.26 in images taken with the 1.5-m reflector of the Mt Lemmon Survey. It was placed on the PCCP as CA7X5V2. PanSTARRS reported cometary activity in images taken on February 3, and their were pre-discovery images on 2023 May 14 (CFHT), December 29, 30, 31, 2024 January 23, 27 (PanSTARRS). The MPEC had to be re-issued as it originally gave no observations. [MPEC 2024-C87, CBET 5345, 2024 February 8]. The comet is at perihelion at 4.1 au in 2023 October.
    2024 C1 (PANSTARRS)
    PanSTARRS 2 discovered a 21st magnitude comet in images taken with the 1.8 m Ritchey-Chretien on February 9.40. It was placed on the PCCP as P21RrwI. There were prediscovery images from PanSTARRS on 2023 December 12, 2024 January 20, 21 and February 4. The comet was discovered after the one designated C2 [MPEC 2024-C177 CBET 5348, 2024 February 15] The comet is at perihelion at 4.4 au in 2024 August and has a period of around 35 years.
    2024 C2 (PANSTARRS)
    PanSTARRS 2 discovered a 21st magnitude comet in images taken with the 1.8 m Ritchey-Chretien on February 1.42. It was placed on the PCCP as P21R3HJ. There were prediscovery images from PanSTARRS on 2023 December 25, 2024 January 5, 6, 20, 21, 22 and 23. The comet was discovered before the one designated C1 [MPEC 2024-C178 CBET 5350, 2024 February 15] The comet is at perihelion at 9.0 au in 2025 March and has a period of around 65 years.
    2024 C3 (PANSTARRS)
    PanSTARRS 2 discovered a 21st magnitude comet in images taken with the 1.8 m Ritchey-Chretien on February 9.47. It was placed on the PCCP as P21RtvR. There were prediscovery images from PanSTARRS on 2023 March 18, 25 and December 17. [MPEC 2024-D97 CBET 5353, 2024 February 21] The comet is at perihelion at 6.7 au in 2023 November and has a period of around 40 years.
    2024 C4 (ATLAS)
    The ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) team discovered a 17th magnitude object in images taken with the 0.5 m Schmidt at Sutherland, South Africa on February 14.08 It was initially reported as asteroidal, but quickly found to be a comet in follow up observations. It was posted on the PCCP as A1140BW. [MPEC 2024-D98, CBET 5354, 2024 February 21]. The comet was at perihelion at 1.5 au in 2024 January.
    2024 C5 (P/Lemmon-PANSTARRS)
    Erwin Schwab recovered comet 2012 WA34 at 20th magnitude in images taken with the 1.0-m reflector at the ESA Optical Ground Station at Tenerife on February 12.97. Sam Deen then found images taken on 2023 September 18 and 19 taken with the 4.0-m DECam at Cerro Tololo. [MPEC 2024-D103, CBET 53xx, 2024 February 22]. The comet was at perihelion at 3.1 au in 2023 July and has a period of 10.1 years.
    When observing a comet please try to forget how bright you think the comet should be, what it was when you last viewed it, what other observers think it is or what the ephemeris says it should be.

    The equations for the light curves of comets that are currently visible use only the raw observations and should give a reasonable prediction for the current brightness. If the comet has not yet been observed or has gone from view a correction for aperture is included, so that telescopic observers should expect the comet to be fainter than given by the equation. The correction is about 0.033 per centimetre. Values for the r parameter given in square brackets [ ] are assumed. The form of the light curve is either the standard m = H0 + 5 log d + K0 log r or the linear brightening m = H0 + 5 log d + L0 abs(t - T + D0) where T is the date of perihelion, t the present and D0 an offset, if L0 is +ve the comet brightens towards perihelion and if D0 is +ve the comet is brightest prior to perihelion.

    Observations of comets in 2024 are given in ICQ format. 

    Full details of recently discovered objects will not appear until they are available on the CBAT web pages. The actual accuracy of preliminary orbits is often (nearly always) much worse than the published accuracy implies.  In part this is because each orbital solution is treated as a mathematical construct and does not take account of observational error.  JPL does publish the errors, whereas the MPECs do not.


    Ephemerides of current comets are available on the CBAT ephemeris page and positions of newly discovered comets are on the NEO confirmation page.
    More information on LINEAR. A list of comets discovered by selected search programs.
    The Northumberland refractor is the telescope that was used in the search for Neptune. It now has a 0.30-m f20 doublet lens which gives a stellar limiting magnitude of around 15 at the zenith on good nights. The Thorrowgood refractor was built in 1864 and has a 0.20-m f14 doublet lens it is currently out of action whilst the dome is replaced.
    Published by Jonathan Shanklin. Jon Shanklin - jds@ast.cam.ac.uk