ephemeris date magn radius delta ra dec elong phase PA
Perihelion10 Nov 201810.41.589 AU0.873 AU07h32m+21°30'116.9°33.8°279°
Nearest approach16 Dec 201810.31.652 AU0.766 AU08h27m+35°03'141.2°21.9°264°
Today14 Oct 201918.93.994 AU4.928 AU12h56m+09°19'18.3°4.5°343°
38P/Stephan-Oterma- 2019-10-14

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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 38P/Stephan-Oterma, as provided by the minor planet center, are:

            e (eccentricity)                : 0.8592010
            q (perihelion distance)         : 1.58853
            i (inclination)                 : 18.35320
            Ω (Longitude of ascending node) : 77.99990
            ω (Argument of perihelion)      : 359.57580
            L (Longitude of perihelion)     : 77.59728
            B (Latitude of perihelion)      : -0.13357
            T (Time of perihelion passage)  : 2458433.46560
            P (Orbital period in years)     : 37.90

            Family/Group:                   : Nearly isotropic

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. Two light curves are shown: 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 (3.50 + 5 log[∆] + 30.00 log[r]), whereas the red curve is being recalculated every 6 hours based on the available COBS/MPC observations (currently 8.25 + 5 log[∆] + 12.05 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.