Comet Lovejoy Will Dazzle the Skies in 2015

A newfound comet could put on a spectacular show in Earth's skies in early 2015. The comet — officially cataloged as 2014 Q2, or Q2 for short — should be a fine object to view in small telescopes and binoculars during much of January. In dark skies free of significant light pollution, the comet may even be visible with the unaided eye. As of Dec. 26, Lovejoy was shining at magnitude 5.3. Observers using binoculars and small telescopes have described it as a circular patch of white light, roughly half the apparent width of the moon. The comet is due to make its closest approach to Earth on Jan. 7, coming as close as 43.6 million miles (70.2 million kilometers). If you assume that the comet continues to brighten at its current rate, Lovejoy should be at its brightest at that time.

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