Binocular Comet Lovejoy Heading Our Way. It’s is a very long-period comet, but this is not its 1st time coming through the inner solar system
The new Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2, as imaged on November 27th by Gerald Rhemann in Austria using a remotely operated 12-inch f/3.6 astrograph in Namibia.
The latest Comet Lovejoy should reach 5th magnitude in late December and January, when it will be nicely placed high in the dark for your binoculars or telescope. It could even become detectable naked-eye.
This is Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy’s fifth comet discovery. He turned it up at 15th magnitude in Puppis last August, in search images that he took with a wide-field 8-inch scope. It hasn’t moved very much since then — it’s still in Puppis as of December 11th — but it’s hundreds of times brighter now at visual magnitude 6.8, reports David Seargent in Australia. On the 9th “I saw it easily using a pair of 6×35 binoculars,” Seargent writes. Using a 4-inch binocular telescope at 25×, he says it was a good 8 arcminutes wide with a strong central condensation and no visible tail.A new Comet Lovejoy, designated C/2014 Q2, is heading our way out of deep space and out of the deep southern sky. It may brighten to 5th magnitude from late December through much of January as it climbs into excellent viewing position for the Northern Hemisphere, high in the dark winter night.
And it’s picking up speed across the sky for a long northward dash.
A Comet of the High Dark
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