Comet ATLAS

From April 2020 through to July 2020, Comet ATLAS C/2019 Y4 will be passing close to the Sun and will often be visible in the night sky from the UK - at its brightest, perhaps with the unaided eye. Here you can see where the comet is today.

Update: In early April the comet started to break up. This can happen to comets as they get closer to the Sun and start to heat up. This is very interesting to watch, and can help astronomers to understand more about comets as they study the breakup in detail, but it does mean that the comet is rather fainter and so will probably not become visible to the unaided eye.
The breakup of Comet ATLAS

Where is the Comet?

SkyMap showing the position of Comet ATLAS
The night sky at 10PM from the UK
7PM | 8PM | 9PM | 10PM | 11PM | Midnight
1AM | 2AM | 3AM | 4AM | 5AM | 6AM
Orbital map showing the position of comet ATLAS
The position of the comet
as it orbits through the solar system.

Observations of the Comet

When possible we will be getting observations of the comet using the Liverpool Telescope. So far there are none available from the last night, but it can take a little while for them to be prepared, so you might want to come back and check later.

Explore the Comet close approach

Highlighted dates have Liverpool Telescope observations available.

April
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    
May
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
June
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        
July
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31