Caesar's Comet

non-periodic comet

Caesar's Comet (C/-43 K1) is also known as 'Comet Caesar' and the 'Great Comet of 44 BC'. It was one of the most famous comets of ancient times.[1] Many Romans thought the comet's seven-day appearance was a sign of the deification of recently assassinated dictator, Julius Caesar (100–44 BC).[2]

Coin minted by Augustus (c. 19–18 BC)

Caesar's Comet was one of only five comets known to have had a negative absolute magnitude and may have been the brightest daylight comet in history.[3] It was not periodic, and it had a parabolic orbit. The comet might now be more than 800 AU from the Sun.[4]


  1. Ramsey, J. T.; Licht, A. L. (1997). The Comet of 44 B.C. and Caesar's Funeral Games. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press. ISBN 0788502735.
  2. Grant, Michael 1970. The Roman Forum. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, p. 94.
  3. Flare-up on July 23–25, 44 BC (Rome): −4.0 (Richter model) and −9.0 (41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák model); absolute magnitude on May 26, 44 BC (China): −3.3 (Richter) and −4.4 (41P/TGK); calculated in Ramsey and Licht, The Comet of 44 B.C. and Caesar's Funeral Games, p. 236.
  4. "Horizon Online Ephemeris System". California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2015-11-16.