Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková is a short period comet having an orbital path that takes it from beyond the orbit of Jupiter around the Sun approximately every 5.25 years. This current apparition has the comet starting to become brighter and more visible as it approaches its closest to the Earth on February 11th. On that date it will be visible in the morning skies before sunrise at a distance of 0.084 AU (7,808,288 miles; 12,566,221 km) from the Earth with an estimated apparent magnitude of 8.0.
Currently the comet is visible in the evening sky just after sunset and is 0.785 AU (72,970,309 miles; 117,434,328 km) from the Earth with an apparent magnitude of 7.59. At these apparent magnitudes the comet should be visible with binoculars and certainly with a telescope or with a camera over the next month or so.
(Note: the picture of the comet is enlarged in all graphics where it is used)
Click on each thumbnail graphic to see it larger.
Click on an animated graphic below to see it larger.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.