P/2016 J3 (STEREO)
ephemeris date magn radius delta ra dec elong phase PA
Today16 Jan 202112.90.562 AU0.644 AU22h02m-11°55'32.7°109.1°70°
Perihelion25 Jan 202111.20.526 AU0.535 AU22h01m-24°21'21.8°136.1°100°
Nearest approach2 Feb 202111.40.556 AU0.500 AU21h33m-38°01'22.3°137.8°162°
P/2016 J3 (STEREO)- 2021-01-16

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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 P/2016 J3 (STEREO), as provided by the minor planet center, are:

            e (eccentricity)                : 0.8116860
            q (perihelion distance)         : 0.5263810
            i (inclination)                 : 23.38330
            Ω (Longitude of ascending node) : 257.79130
            ω (Argument of perihelion)      : 210.73250
            L (Longitude of perihelion)     : 286.41242
            B (Latitude of perihelion)      : -11.70180
            T (Time of perihelion passage)  : 2459239.88530
            P (Orbital period in years)     : 4.67
            Epoch                           : 2021 Jan 15
            Reference                       : MPEC 2021-AF7

            Family/Group:                   : Jupiter family
            Tisserand (Jupiter)             : 2.647

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 light curve is based on the absolute magnitude and slope parameter as calculated from the original MPEC, or the latest values provided by the minor planet center. (19.00 + 5 log[∆] + 20.00 log[r]). The additional green curve shows the effect of forward scattering, occurring when the comet is between the earth and the sun, for a gas-to-dust light ratio δ90 of 0.30. (See Marcus 2007)

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.