Current Observable Comets

Below is a table of all current observable comets with an amateur telescope (brighter than visual  magnitude 14). The list is in order of magnitude (brightest first), however it can be sorted by headers by clicking on them. Last updated 18 August, 2018.

21P/Giacobini-Zinner8Brightening55 N to 10 SAll Night
PanSTARRS (2017 S3)8Steady55 N to 5 SMorning
PanSTARRS (2016 M1)9Fading20 N to 90 SEvening
ATLAS (2017 T3)9Fading30 S to 90 SMorning
NEOWISE (2018 N1)9.5Fading45 N to 90 SEvening
38P/Stephan-Oterma11Brightening45 N to 50 SMorning
37P/Forbes12Fading55 N to 60 SMorning
PanSTARRS (2016 R2)12FadingPoor elongationPoor elongation
Lemmon (2018 EF9)12.5FadingPoor elongationPoor elongation
PanSTARRS (2016 N6)12.5SteadyIn ConjunctionIn Conjunction
46P/Wirtanen13Brightening40 N to 70 SMorning
364P/PanSTARRS13Fading15 N to 75 SMorning
64P/Swift-Gehrels13Brightening15 N to 45 SMorning
66P/du Toit13Fading30 N to 65 SMorning
240P/NEAT13SteadyPoor elongationPoor elongation
29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann13Variable55 N to 65 SMorning
ATLAS (2018 L2)13.5Brightening20 N to 70SEvening
ATLAS (2017 M4)13.5Steady55 N to 20 SEvening
48P/Johnson13.5Steady35 N to 80 SMorning
PanSTARRS (2015 O1)13.5FadingPoor elongationPoor elongation

For more information on upcoming bright comets this year, please visit our bright comets of 2018 page



  1. Aww, it’s a shame there are no very bright comets this year. Do you know if there are meant to be any bright ones next year?

    • We will be creating the Bright Comet’s of 2017 page very shortly. There’s not much to write home about for 2017 if your looking for naked eye comets however, Comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova should reach magnitude 6 early in the year. In March 2017 Comet 41P/Tuttle- Giacobini- Kresak is hoped to reach magnitude 5. Then there is a long wait until Christmas 2017 when Comet 46P/Wirtanen is hoped to reach a promising magnitude 3. As always with all things comet, you never know what might be just around the corner that we don’t know about yet! The surprisers are usually the brightest.

  2. HI,

    Observing ( Binoculars) from london (around 6:15am GMT) on 19th ( today) I thought I saw a comet quite near Jupiter ( south west). Now I am not sure if this was one. In the list above there a few listed as can be seen in the morning. Not sure if this was an optical illusion arising from the fact that I was observing through a closed window. I used two binoculars and could see it through both. Clear Skies.

  3. Hello

    A few hours ago, from 46 South, NZ.
    Comet 45p.
    Used HIP Stars within 1 deg radius of comet, for Comparisons.
    Can also use 12df MLim 10 centred on Arcturus (AAVSO Comparisons), if you so wish
    Sidewick in-out method used.
    A featureless pale green coma, still slightly elongated.
    FEB 19.569 UT Mv 8.2 12 x 10 arcmin coma DC1 12cm L 50x (96′ FOV). G.WOLF, NZ


    Best wishes from 46 South, NZ.

    Graham W. Wolf

    • Ah that sounds a bit more interesting . I’d like to see that but I live down the in the east near Cambridge a town called Chatteris, Cambridgeshire. I have no idea what the coordinates are it’s beyond me I’m afraid to say.

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