Key Facts


C/1888 R1 (Barnard) is a large comet with a trajectory through the solar system likely originating from the Oort Cloud. NASA JPL has not classified Barnard as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Barnard orbits the sun every 0 days (0.00 years), coming as close as 1.77 AU and reaching as far as -2953.77 AU from the sun. Its orbit is highly elliptical. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Barnard is probably between 2658.000 to 5943.469 kilometers in diameter, making it the largest asteroid/dwarf planet, very roughly comparable in size to the U.S. state of Alaska.

No Close Approaches

Barnard's orbit is 0.00 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that its orbit is very close to Earth's orbit.

Orbital simulations conducted by NASA JPL's CNEOS do not show any close approaches to Earth.

Images and Observations

Barnard's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Sept. 3, 1888. It was last officially observed on July 19, 1890. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 173 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

This comet is not considered a viable target for human exploration by the NHATS study.



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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2411040.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: -1476.0 AU
  • Eccentricity: 1.0012
  • Inclination: 166.38°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 358.98°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 340.46°
  • Mean Anomaly: 0.0°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~3431.463 km

Derived Characteristics

  • Aphelion Distance: -2953.77 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.77 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of C/1888 R1 (Barnard) is indicated by a ◯ pink circle. Note that the object may not be in your current field of view. Use the controls below to adjust position, location, and time.