ephemeris date magn radius delta ra dec elong phase PA
Nearest approach23 Oct 202011.21.365 AU0.481 AU23h31m-21°02'132.2°32.7°50°
Perihelion17 Nov 202010.91.333 AU0.526 AU23h44m-01°19'120.2°39.8°67°
Today6 Dec 202011.51.350 AU0.613 AU00h12m+12°02'113.2°42.1°70°
156P/Russell-LINEAR- 2020-12-06

-1 month
-1 week
-1 day
+1 day
+1 week
+1 month

The interactive orbit chart above shows the comet's path through the solar system and its position at the given date. Green and blue lines are shown perpendicular to the ecliptic plane: Green if the path is above the ecliptic plane, blue if it is below. (Left-click and drag to rotate the view; Right-click and drag to move the view; Use scroll wheel to zoom in our out.)

The orbital elements of 156P/Russell-LINEAR, as provided by the minor planet center, are:

            e (eccentricity)                : 0.6147440
            q (perihelion distance)         : 1.3330200
            i (inclination)                 : 17.26300
            Ω (Longitude of ascending node) : 35.36920
            ω (Argument of perihelion)      : 0.42850
            L (Longitude of perihelion)     : 35.77840
            B (Latitude of perihelion)      : 0.12716
            T (Time of perihelion passage)  : 2459171.37430
            P (Orbital period in years)     : 6.44
            Epoch                           : 2020 Dec 05

            Family/Group:                   : Jupiter family
            Tisserand (Jupiter)             : 2.732

The light curve chart below shows the estimated development of the comet's magnitude. Blue and black dots are visual and photometric CCD observations respectively from COBS or the MPC. The gray curve is based on the absolute magnitude and slope parameter as calculated from the original MPEC, or the latest values provided by the MPC (15.50 + 5 log[∆] + 5.00 log[r]), whereas the red curve is being recalculated every 6 hours based on the available COBS/MPC observations (currently 7.00 + 5 log[∆] + 42.79 log[r]).

The all-sky chart below shows the path of the comet over the same period as the light curve. The comet's current position is marked yellow.

The following chart shows the short-term path of the comet in a field of view that is optimized for (~10x50) binoculars and finderscopes.
A more printer-friendly version of the same chart can be found further down this page as well.