81P/Wild reaches its brightest

2016 Feb 27

Dominic Ford – originally published on In-The-Sky.org

Comet 81P/Wild is forecast to reach its brightest, at around mag 12.1. It will lie at a distance of 2.10 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 1.68 AU from the Earth.

From London (click to change), it will become visible at around 18:51 (GMT) as the dusk sky fades, 59° above your southern horizon. It will then sink towards the horizon, setting 9 hours and 15 minutes after the Sun at 02:45.

For more information about its path across the sky, see In-The-Sky.org’s ephemeris page for comet 81P/Wild.

This event was automatically generated on the basis of orbital elements published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), and is updated daily (last update, 20 Dec 2015).

Note that the future positions of comets are typically known with a high degree of confidence, but their brightnesses are often much more unpredictable, since it is impossible to predict with certainty how they will respond as they move closer to the Sun. Magnitude estimates should be assumed to be highly provisional more than a few weeks in advance.

The exact position of comet 81P/Wild will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 81P/Wild 05h10m10s +20°53' Taurus 12.1

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of In-The-Sky.org