Welcome to my Southern Comets website.

Here you will find information, finder charts and images of Comets - past, present and future, plus other observations of interest.

This page was last updated on 30-Jul-2020

Members of the general public should read this important Guide to Observing Comets

This website will be updated less frequently.
Please follow my "Southern Comets Homepage" on Facebook for regular updates of observations and images.

Other recommended sources
Gideon van Buitenen's website http://astro.vanbuitenen.nl/comets
Weekly comet information by Seiichi Yoshida http://www.aerith.net/comet/weekly/current.html

Current Brightness of Present/Future comets from 35S latitude on 2020 July 30
Click on individual comet for more information including FINDER CHARTS.
Latest up to date magnitude estimates can be found at the COBS website https://cobs.si

C/2020 F3 NEOWISE
5th magnitude and fading.
Visible to southerners from July 26, fading from magnitude 4.
"Fine comet" Peaked at magnitude 1 in early July 2020 for northerners.

 
C/2019 U6 Lemmon
9h magnitude and fading. Western evening sky
Peaked at magnitude 6.5 in late June 2020
 
2P Encke
9th magnitude and fading. Low western evening sky.
Peaked at magnitude 6 in late June 2020.
 
C/2020 F8 SWAN
Disintegrated. In solar conjunction.
Peaked at magnitude 5.0 in early May 2020 before disintegrating at perihelion in late May.
Click HERE for details on how I discovered this comet

 
C/2017 T2 PANSTARRS
10th magnitude and fading. Low Northern evening skies.
Peaked at magnitude 8 in May 2020.
 
88P Howell
10th magnitude and brightening. Northern evening sky
Should reach magnitude 8 in October 2020
 
58P Jackson-Neujmin
12th magnitude and fading. Low eastern morning sky.
Outburst in April 2020. Lost periodic comet recovered
Peaked at magnitude 10 in May 2020
 
C/2019 Y4 ATLAS
Disintegrated. Very low eastern morning twilight sky.
Hopes for an Unaided Eye comet were dashed when it disintegrated on its way to perihelion.
 
C/2019 Y1 ATLAS
13th magnitude and fading. Low Northeastern evening sky.
Peaked at magnitude 7 in March 2020.
 
C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS
D
iscovered on 2017 May 21 at a distance of 16 AU, almost a record for a comet discovery.
Potential Unaided Eye target in 2022.
Currently at magnitude 15, implies a very large comet (absolute magnitude of 1)
Perihelion occurs in December 2022 at 1.8AU. It will be distant from the Earth and Sun.
May peak at magnitude 5 in December 2022 for observers in the southern hemisphere.
 


OTHER COMETS IN 2020



C/2019 Y1 ATLAS
(not to be confused with Y4 ATLAS)
was discovered on 2019 December 16 by the ATLAS survey.
Astrometry indicates that this comet belongs to the Liller family of comets, arising from a breakup of a larger object about 3000+ years ago
 (linkage identified by Reinder Bouma)
C/1988 A1 Liller, which may be the primary component, reached 5th magnitude in May 1988.
C/1996 Q1 Tabur also reached 5th magnitude in October 1996.
C/2015 F3 SWAN, reached 9th magnitude in April 2015.
This 4th member seems to be faint intrinsically and may struggle to survive perihelion, although it survived its last return.
The comet was restricted to the northern hemisphere when at its brightest in March 2020, reaching magnitude 7.

58P Jackson-Neujmin

not seen since 1996, this comet has undergone an outburst and was discovered in SWAN data by Hua Su and recovered by me on 2020 April 7.
The comet was +2.4 days behind prediction. Perihelion date is on May 27at 1.37AU, followed by an Earth approach on June 26 at 2.0AU.
The comet may peak at magnitude 10 in May 2020.

C/2019 N1 ATLAS
may appear 10th magnitude during December 2020, when well situated in south-eastern morning sky.
It has an orbital period of > 1 million years and perihelion distance of 1.70AU on December 1.

141P Machholz
has an interesting history, fragmenting into 5 components in 1994 (A to E).
I observed components A and D at its 1999 return. A further fragment H was identified in 2015.
What more does this comet have in store for us at its next return in 2020?, when it will be 0.80AU from the Sun on December 15.
The primary component A may reach 10th magnitude.


C/2020 A2 Iwamoto
Was a new amateur comet discovered on 2020 January 8, which peaked at magnitude 10 in February 2020.
Images above were taken on 2020 February 6 using I telescope Sierra Nevada.


Total Solar Eclipse photos from Casper Wyoming on 2017 August 21.

 

THE DOUBLE COMET SHOW OF MARCH 2013
Was one of the highlights on the comet observing calendar.
2 comets C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS and C/2012 F6 Lemmon
were simultaneously visible to the unaided eye during the evenings of early March 2013

Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS page
Comet C/2012 F6 Lemmon page

GREAT COMETS
What a privilege it is to observe a great comet. My tally is 4 since I began observing comets in 1986.
Click on links for additional photos and information.

C/1996 B2 Hyakutake (Great comet of 1996)
C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp (Great comet of 1997)
C/2006 P1 McNaught
(Great comet of 2007)
C/2011 W3 Lovejoy (Great comet of 2011)

 

Also visit my alternate website at http://www.yp-connect.net/~mmatti/
which consists of additional photos and observations of comets personally witnessed since 1996.

A history of my comet observations since 1986 can be downloaded here

Further comet information can be found at:
Comet Watch
Facebook group

Skyhound. A website for comet charts and information: http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/

Send comments to Michael Mattiazzo : mmatti at westnet dot com dot au