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Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2), a newly discovered comet has now brightened to within small telescope range and should reach naked-eye brightness by the end of July. Based on the current light-curve, Jacques is predicted to peak at magnitude +4 and become a fine sight in the morning sky when seen from the Northern Hemisphere later this year.

When discovered on March 13, 2014 by Cristovao Jacques, Eduardo Pimentel and Joao Ribeiro de Barros, the comet was a feeble magnitude +14.7. It's currently heading towards perihelion on July 2nd when it will pass 0.66 AU (99 million kilometres or 61 million miles) from the Sun. Closest approach to Earth occurs on August 28th when Jacques passes 0.56 AU (84 million kilometres or 52 million miles) from our planet.

Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) imaged from Siding Spring Observatory on March 14, 2014 (Rolando Ligustri)

Location and star chart

Jacques is currently moving in a northwestern direction just east of beautiful Orion. The comet spends almost all of May weaving slowly through the faint constellation of Monoceros except on the 12th when it briefly cuts into neighbouring Canis Minor. It's predicted that Jacques will increase from magnitude +8.4 on May 1st to magnitude +6.9 by months end. This puts the comet within the range of small telescopes and large binoculars, although too faint to be seen with the naked eye.

For Northern Hemisphere observers, Jacques appears low down above the western horizon after sunset during the first half of the month. The comet is then quickly lost to the bright glare of the Sun before re-appearing in the morning sky at the end of July; hopefully bright enough to be visible to the naked eye.

From southern and equatorial latitudes, Jacques is well placed in the early evening sky during May. The comet is visible reasonable high up towards the west after sunset. It then passes perihelion on July 2nd after which it won't be visible from the Southern Hemisphere until early September.

The finder chart below shows the positions of Jacques from May 7, 2014 to June 3, 2014.

Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) Finder Chart from May 7, 2014 to June 3, 2014

Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) Finder Chart from May 7, 2014 to June 3, 2014 - pdf format

C/2014 E2 (Jacques) Data (at epoch May 23, 2014)

NameC/2014 E2 (Jacques)
DiscovererCristovao Jacques, Eduardo Pimentel and Joao Ribeiro de Barros
Discovery dateMarch 13, 2014
Aphelion (AU)1445.3
Perihelion (AU)0.66384
Semi-major axis722.98
Orbital period (years)19440
Inclination (degrees) 156.39
Longitude of ascending node (degrees)56.389
Perihelion July 2, 2014
Notes Magnitude +14.7 at discovery

Comet (C/2014 E2) Jacques Data Table

DateRight AscensionDeclinationMag.Distance from Earth (AU)Constellation
01 May 201407h 32m 24s-04d 42m 45s8.41.191Monoceros
02 May 201407h 29m 44s-04d 02m 24s8.31.206Monoceros
03 May 201407h 27m 11s-03d 23m 08s8.31.220Monoceros
04 May 201407h 24m 44s-02d 44m 55s8.31.235Monoceros
05 May 201407h 22m 21s-02d 07m 45s8.21.250Monoceros
06 May 201407h 20m 04s-01d 31m 34s8.21.266Monoceros
07 May 201407h 17m 52s-00d 56m 22s8.21.281Monoceros
08 May 201407h 15m 44s-00d 22m 05s8.11.296Monoceros
09 May 201407h 13m 40s00d 11m 18s8.11.311Monoceros
10 May 201407h 11m 40s00d 43m 48s8.01.326Monoceros
11 May 201407h 09m 45s01d 15m 28s8.01.341Monoceros
12 May 201407h 07m 52s01d 46m 21s7.91.356Canis Minor
13 May 201407h 06m 03s02d 16m 27s7.91.371Monoceros
14 May 201407h 04m 18s02d 45m 49s7.91.386Monoceros
15 May 201407h 02m 35s03d 14m 29s7.81.400Monoceros
16 May 201407h 00m 55s03d 42m 29s7.81.415Monoceros
17 May 201406h 59m 17s04d 09m 50s7.71.429Monoceros
18 May 201406h 57m 42s04d 36m 35s7.71.443Monoceros
19 May 201406h 56m 10s05d 02m 46s7.61.457Monoceros
20 May 201406h 54m 39s05d 28m 23s7.51.471Monoceros
21 May 201406h 53m 10s05d 53m 29s7.51.484Monoceros
22 May 201406h 51m 43s06d 18m 05s7.41.497Monoceros
23 May 201406h 50m 18s06d 42m 14s7.41.510Monoceros
24 May 201406h 48m 54s07d 05m 56s7.31.523Monoceros
25 May 201406h 47m 32s07d 29m 13s7.31.536Monoceros
26 May 201406h 46m 10s07d 52m 07s7.21.548Monoceros
27 May 201406h 44m 50s08d 14m 38s7.11.559Monoceros
28 May 201406h 43m 31s08d 36m 50s7.11.571Monoceros
29 May 201406h 42m 12s08d 58m 42s7.01.582Monoceros
30 May 201406h 40m 55s09d 20m 17s6.91.593Monoceros
31 May 201406h 39m 38s09d 41m 36s6.91.603Monoceros
01 Jun 201406h 38m 21s10d 02m 40s6.81.613Monoceros
02 Jun 201406h 37m 05s10d 23m 30s6.71.622Monoceros
03 Jun 201406h 35m 49s10d 44m 08s6.71.631Monoceros
04 Jun 201406h 34m 33s11d 04m 35s6.61.640Monoceros
05 Jun 201406h 33m 17s11d 24m 53s6.51.648Monoceros
06 Jun 201406h 32m 01s11d 45m 02s6.41.656Monoceros
07 Jun 201406h 30m 46s12d 05m 03s6.41.663Gemini

See also

Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) visible with binoculars and small scopes
Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) moves north, remains visible with binoculars
Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) passes north of the "W" of Cassiopeia
Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) remains within binocular range
Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) high in the sky during September