ephemeris date magn radius delta ra dec elong phase PA
Today23 Oct 202117.23.243 AU2.567 AU22h04m+17°05'125.1°14.5°88°
Perihelion21 Apr 20224.50.287 AU0.962 AU02h52m+03°24'16.6°90.2°121°
Nearest approach8 May 20226.40.593 AU0.601 AU03h59m+46°53'32.0°115.5°27°

Please be aware that cometary behaviour is difficult to predict by nature. Predictions on this page are based on standard models and the latest observations available to me, and will gradually improve with time. The ability of comets to either disappoint or pleasantly surprise us, is one of many things that make them so interesting.

C/2021 O3 (PANSTARRS)- 2021-10-23

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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/2021 O3 (PANSTARRS) are:

            e (eccentricity)                : 1.0001280
            q (perihelion distance)         : 0.2872960
            i (inclination)                 : 56.76720
            Ω (Longitude of ascending node) : 189.03060
            ω (Argument of perihelion)      : 299.98520
            L (Longitude of perihelion)     : 145.50532
            B (Latitude of perihelion)      : -46.42690
            T (Time of perihelion passage)  : 2459690.54720

            Epoch                           : 2021 Oct 22
            Reference                       : MPEC 2021-U31

            Classification(s):              : Nearly isotropic; New (a > 10000 AU)

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 (10.50 + 5 log[∆] + 10.00 log[r]), whereas the red curve is being recalculated every 6 hours based on the available COBS/MPC observations (currently 10.04 + 5 log[∆] + 10.00 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.