(Lovejoy) is a long-period comet
discovered on 17 August 2014]
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 brightened to roughly magnitude 4−5,
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
; 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.
Before entering the planetary region (epoch
1950), C/2014 Q2 had an orbital period of about 11000 years.
After leaving the planetary region (epoch 2050), it will have an orbital period of about 8000 years.