AP 9

C/2014 Q2 – Comet Lovejoy

Dec 28 2014, 0047 UT in Lepus; est. mag: 5.7. With (a) gamma Leporis.

Dec 29 2014, 2207 UT; with (a) Arneb and (b) Nihal. 8-day moon in Pisces.

Cropped view, with (a) HIP 24528 and (b) HIP 25045. Also arrowed is M79, which the comet approached to within ⅓° last night.

January 6th 2015, 2204 UT, amid blustery conditions; the comet in Eridanus. 9 hours before perigee at 43.7 million miles, on the fringe of naked-eye visibility with 97% moon in Cancer. (a) xi Eridani, (b) nu Eridani, (c) Beid, omicron 1 Eridani and (d) Keid, omicron 2 Eridani.

Northwest of Rigel (R), same night.

Jan 10, 2115 UT; now clearly visible to the naked-eye in the absence of moonlight. With (a) nu Tauri.

Two views from Jan 13, 0101 & 0102 UT; the tail now appears photographically for the first time, also in 15×70 binoculars. 15 arc-minutes from mag 7.25 HIP 17240 in Taurus.

Jan 15, 0008UT; the tail can be traced to a grouping in Taurus which includes (1) HIP 17300, almost 3 degrees away. HIP 16359 is 4 arc-minutes to the south-east. Coma remains clearly visible to the naked eye with a magnitude of ~4.

Lovejoy and the Pleiades – midnight Jan 17; the comet passes eight degrees west of the famous star cluster.

Jan 19, 0032 UT; eleven days before perihelion. a – tau1 Arietis.

Jan 19, 0032 UT; eleven days before perihelion. a – tau1 Arietis.

Feb 14 2015, 2032 UT – immersed in the dense starfields of the Andromeda/Cassiopeia border; still on the edge of naked-eye visibility, tail now diminished to perhaps half a degree. With (a) 51 Andromedae.

Comet Lovejoy as photographed through an 8″ SCT in a 30-second exposure on Feb 20 2015 at 0026 UT. Frame dimensions are 13 arcminutes x 8. 125 million miles from the Sun, 110 million from Earth, est. magnitude 6.2 with evident greenish hue.

Field stars in Perseus: 1 – TYC 3291-742-1, mag 10.6; 2 – USNOA2 1350-01593875, mag 12.9; 3 – TYC 3291-508-1, mag 11.8; 4 – USNOA2 1350-01592853, mag 13.4; 5 – USNOA2 1350-01594172, mag 12.9; 5a – USNOA2 1350-01593940, mag 15.2, some 1500 times beyond naked-eye visibility; 6 – TYC 3291-236-1, mag 11.6; 7 – USNOA2 1350-01592695, mag 14.7; 7a – USNOA2 1350-01592342, mag 15; 8 – USNOA2 1350-01591907, mag 12.4; 9 – USNOA2 1350-01591758, mag 13; a – USNOA2 1350-01590779, mag 13.9; b – USNOA2 1350-01590226, mag 13.7; c – USNOA2 1350-01587029, mag 12.8; d – USNOA2 1350-01585122, mag 13.3; e – USNOA2 1350-01586807, mag 12.7; f – USNOA2 1350-01583524, mag 12.6; g – USNOA2 1350-01584452, mag 13.7; h – USNOA2 1350-01583203, mag 13.8; j – USNOA2 1350-01583854, mag 14.2; k – HIP 7826, mag 8.7; m – USNOA2 1350-01581346, mag 14.5; circlet in coma, from top – USNOA2 1350-01583463, mag 15; USNOA2 1350-01583630, mag 15; USNOA2 1350-01583383, mag 14.6; USNOA2 1350-01582631, mag 14.2; n – USNOA2 1350-01579466, mag 14.5

CHAPTER X