As we know there are interactive maps for lunar and solar eclipses.

This is the interactive map of October 14, 2023 annular solar eclipse from timeanddate, and you can zoom in to see the eclipse path accurately:


I searched several times. But I didn't find an interactive map for comet appearances (whether past, present, or forthcoming). I know comets are still so far when they are watchable; but for sure there are countries that can/can't see them at the given time.

Are there interactive maps for comets?

  • $\begingroup$ As James said in his answer, generally they're visible worldwide. People generally use planetarium software like Stellarium or Sky Safari to determine the exact times for their location. $\endgroup$ Oct 28, 2023 at 3:05

1 Answer 1


Unlike an eclipse, which is only visible for a specific area and at a specific time (which can be predicted in advance), comets can be seen over a wide area of the globe and often for several weeks or months, but the time of their appearance can be hard to predict.

There are (roughly) two types of comet, long period and short period. Most short period comets are dim and too faint to be seen with the naked eye. A few (like Halley's comet) can be fairly bright. We can predict these with a fair amount of accuracy. When they come, they can be seen over much of the world, though sometimes one hemisphere is better placed. Long period comets (like Hale-Bopp) are impossible to predict, they are making their first visit to the inner solar system during human history so we have no way of knowing when one will appear. They can be very bright (though this is rare). Again, sometimes the north will be better place than the south, or vice-versa. But they will generally be visible worldwide.

So maps that show where a comet will be visible would be impossible (since we don't know when) or useless (since they will show that the comet is visible for more than half of the planet)

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. Are there also good websites that list a table of all forthcoming comets? $\endgroup$ Oct 28, 2023 at 9:46
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    $\begingroup$ As I said in my answer, that is impossible, since we don't know about long period comets. Bright short-period comets are rare. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Oct 28, 2023 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ Here is list of forthcoming short period comets. visible in the Northern Hemisphere aerith.net/comet/future-n.html $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Oct 29, 2023 at 15:58

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