ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY SHAUN REYNOLDS | Deep Sky. All astro images | COMET LOVEJOY 2015


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COMET LOVEJOY 2015

COMET LOVEJOY 2015

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is a long-period comet discovered on 17 August 2014]
By December 2014, the comet had brightened to roughly magnitude 7.4,[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.[5] On 28−29 December 2014, the comet passed 1/3° from globular cluster Messier 79.[6] In January 2015, it brightened to roughly magnitude 4−5,[7] and became 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.[8] It crossed the celestial equator on 9 January 2015 becoming better seen from the northern hemisphere.[9] 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.[2]
Before entering the planetary region (epoch 1950), C/2014 Q2 had an orbital period of about 11000 years.[3] After leaving the planetary region (epoch 2050), it will have an orbital period of about 8000 years.[3]