ephemeris date magn radius delta ra dec elong phase PA
Nearest approach9 Dec 201820.02.705 AU1.727 AU04h48m+15°16'171.8°3.0°23°
Perihelion30 Dec 201820.12.698 AU1.804 AU04h25m+21°26'149.5°10.7°80°
Today27 May 202025.05.078 AU4.949 AU12h12m+48°38'91.5°11.5°125°
C/2018 X3 (PANSTARRS)- 2020-05-27

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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 C/2018 X3 (PANSTARRS), as provided by the minor planet center, are:

            e (eccentricity)                : 0.7822680
            q (perihelion distance)         : 2.6979380
            i (inclination)                 : 43.36890
            Ω (Longitude of ascending node) : 78.92080
            ω (Argument of perihelion)      : 359.78710
            L (Longitude of perihelion)     : 78.76603
            B (Latitude of perihelion)      : -0.14620
            T (Time of perihelion passage)  : 2458483.13350
            P (Orbital period in years)     : 43.62
            Epoch                           : 2020 May 26

            Family/Group:                   : Nearly isotropic
            Tisserand (Jupiter)             : 1.818

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. (14.50 + 5 log[∆] + 10.00 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.

The following chart shows the current location of the comet in a smaller, upside-down telescopic field of view.