Image of Comet Lovejoy taken Saturday, January 10, by Dr. Bill Cooke. Image is a 3 minute exposure using the iTelescope T3 refractor. At the time of this image, the comet was some 45 million miles from Earth.
Discovered in August of 2014, Comet Lovejoy is currently sweeping north through the constellation Taurus, bright enough to offer good binocular views. Glowing softly with a greenish hue, Comet Lovejoy passed closest to planet Earth on January 7, while its perihelion (closest point to the Sun) will be on January 30. Classed as a long period comet, it should return again … in about 8,000 years.
C/2014 Q2 is a long-period comet discovered on 17 August 2014 by Terry Lovejoy using a 0.2-meter (8 in) Schmidt–Cassegrain telescope. It was discovered at apparent magnitude 15 in the southern constellation of Puppis. It is the fifth comet discovered by Terry Lovejoy.
By December 2014, the comet had brightened to roughly magnitude 7.4, making it a small telescope and binoculars target. By mid-December, the comet was visible to the naked eye for experienced observers with dark skies and keen eyesight. On 28−29 December 2014, the comet passed 1/3° from globular cluster Messier 79. In January 2015, it will brighten to roughly magnitude 4−5, and will be one of the brightest comets located high in a dark sky in years. On 7 January 2015, the comet passed 0.469 AU (70,200,000 km; 43,600,000 mi) from Earth. It crossed the celestial equator on 9 January 2015 becoming better seen from the northern hemisphere. The comet will come to perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on 30 January 2015 at a distance of 1.29 AU (193,000,000 km; 120,000,000 mi) from the Sun.
Video: COMET LOVEJOY TIMELAPSE VIDEO