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Although comet Lovejoy has faded significantly since it reached naked eye brightness a few months ago it should still remain an easy telescope target during May. During the month the comet continues on its northerly path heading towards a close pass of Polaris and the North Celestial Pole.

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy on February 21, 2015 (Damian Peach - www.damianpeach.com)

Location and star chart

Lovejoy spends the first couple of days of May in northern Cassiopeia before moving into Cepheus where it remains until the 28th. The surrounding star field is faint and there's not much in the way of deep sky objects but on the 20th Lovejoy passes 0.5 degrees east of open cluster NGC 188. With an apparent magnitude of +8.1, NGC 188 or Caldwell 1 is not one of the sky's brightest clusters but can be seen with binoculars, although much easier with telescopes. Positioned less than 5 degrees from the North Celestial Pole it holds the distinction of being the northernmost open cluster in the sky. When passing the cluster current predictions put Lovejoy at magnitude +8.5 and therefore similar in brightness.

The next major pass for Lovejoy occurs on May 29th when it passes just 1 degree west of Polaris (α UMi - mag. +2.0). It's likely to have faded to 9th magnitude by this time. As a consequence of it's high northerly declination the comet is circumpolar from virtually all the Northern Hemisphere but can't be seen from Southern latitudes.

The finder charts below show the positions of Lovejoy from March 12th to June 12th, 2015.

Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) Finder Chart from May 3rd to June 12th, 2015

Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) Finder Chart from May 3rd to June 12th, 2015 - pdf format

Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) Finder Chart from March 12th to May 3rd, 2015

Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) Finder Chart from March 12th to May 3rd, 2015 - pdf format

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) Data (at epoch December 9, 2014)

NameC/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
TypeComet
DiscovererTerry Lovejoy
Discovery dateAugust 17, 2014
Perihelion (AU)1.29077
Eccentricity0.99809
Orbital period (years)~8000
Inclination (degrees) 80.3021
Longitude of ascending node (degrees)94.9937
Perihelion January 30th, 2015

Comet (C2014/Q2) Lovejoy Data Table

DateRight AscensionDeclinationMag.Distance from Earth (AU)Constellation
01-May-201501h 28m 21s76d 57m 31s7.62.082Cassiopeia
02-May-201501h 28m 24s77d 22m 12s7.62.090Cassiopeia
03-May-201501h 28m 25s77d 47m 01s7.72.098Cepheus
04-May-201501h 28m 23s78d 11m 59s7.72.106Cepheus
05-May-201501h 28m 20s78d 37m 06s7.82.114Cepheus
06-May-201501h 28m 13s79d 02m 22s7.82.122Cepheus
07-May-201501h 28m 03s79d 27m 46s7.92.130Cepheus
08-May-201501h 27m 49s79d 53m 19s7.92.137Cepheus
09-May-201501h 27m 31s80d 19m 01s8.02.145Cepheus
10-May-201501h 27m 07s80d 44m 51s8.02.152Cepheus
11-May-201501h 26m 37s81d 10m 50s8.12.160Cepheus
12-May-201501h 26m 00s81d 36m 57s8.12.167Cepheus
13-May-201501h 25m 15s82d 03m 12s8.22.174Cepheus
14-May-201501h 24m 19s82d 29m 35s8.22.182Cepheus
15-May-201501h 23m 10s82d 56m 06s8.32.189Cepheus
16-May-201501h 21m 47s83d 22m 45s8.32.196Cepheus
17-May-201501h 20m 04s83d 49m 30s8.42.203Cepheus
18-May-201501h 17m 59s84d 16m 21s8.42.210Cepheus
19-May-201501h 15m 23s84d 43m 18s8.52.217Cepheus
20-May-201501h 12m 10s85d 10m 18s8.52.224Cepheus
21-May-201501h 08m 06s85d 37m 22s8.62.230Cepheus
22-May-201501h 02m 55s86d 04m 25s8.62.237Cepheus
23-May-201500h 56m 08s86d 31m 24s8.72.244Cepheus
24-May-201500h 47m 05s86d 58m 14s8.82.251Cepheus
25-May-201500h 34m 35s87d 24m 44s8.82.258Cepheus
26-May-201500h 16m 37s87d 50m 38s8.92.264Cepheus
27-May-201523h 49m 23s88d 15m 21s8.92.271Cepheus
28-May-201523h 05m 47s88d 37m 41s9.02.278Cepheus
29-May-201521h 54m 07s88d 54m 55s9.02.284Ursa Minor
30-May-201520h 09m 28s89d 02m 06s9.12.291Ursa Minor
31-May-201518h 23m 05s88d 55m 36s9.12.298Ursa Minor
01-Jun-201517h 08m 51s88d 38m 30s9.22.304Ursa Minor
02-Jun-201516h 23m 37s88d 15m 48s9.22.311Ursa Minor
03-Jun-201515h 55m 30s87d 50m 19s9.32.318Ursa Minor
04-Jun-201515h 37m 02s87d 23m 21s9.32.324Ursa Minor
05-Jun-201515h 24m 16s86d 55m 30s9.42.331Ursa Minor
06-Jun-201515h 15m 04s86d 27m 03s9.42.338Ursa Minor
07-Jun-201515h 08m 13s85d 58m 11s9.52.345Ursa Minor
08-Jun-201515h 02m 60s85d 29m 00s9.52.351Ursa Minor
09-Jun-201514h 58m 57s84d 59m 34s9.62.358Ursa Minor
10-Jun-201514h 55m 47s84d 29m 55s9.62.365Ursa Minor
11-Jun-201514h 53m 16s84d 00m 05s9.72.372Ursa Minor
12-Jun-201514h 51m 15s83d 30m 06s9.72.379Ursa Minor
13-Jun-201514h 49m 40s82d 59m 58s9.82.386Ursa Minor
14-Jun-201514h 48m 24s82d 29m 42s9.82.393Ursa Minor
15-Jun-201514h 47m 25s81d 59m 19s9.92.400Ursa Minor
16-Jun-201514h 46m 39s81d 28m 50s9.92.407Ursa Minor
17-Jun-201514h 46m 04s80d 58m 14s10.02.414Ursa Minor
18-Jun-201514h 45m 39s80d 27m 34s10.02.422Ursa Minor
19-Jun-201514h 45m 22s79d 56m 48s10.12.429Ursa Minor
20-Jun-201514h 45m 12s79d 25m 58s10.12.436Ursa Minor
21-Jun-201514h 45m 08s78d 55m 03s10.22.444Ursa Minor
22-Jun-201514h 45m 10s78d 24m 05s10.22.451Ursa Minor
23-Jun-201514h 45m 17s77d 53m 03s10.32.459Ursa Minor
24-Jun-201514h 45m 27s77d 21m 58s10.32.467Ursa Minor
25-Jun-201514h 45m 42s76d 50m 50s10.42.474Ursa Minor
26-Jun-201514h 45m 59s76d 19m 40s10.42.482Ursa Minor
27-Jun-201514h 46m 20s75d 48m 28s10.42.490Ursa Minor
28-Jun-201514h 46m 44s75d 17m 15s10.52.498Ursa Minor
29-Jun-201514h 47m 09s74d 45m 59s10.52.506Ursa Minor
30-Jun-201514h 47m 38s74d 14m 43s10.52.515Ursa Minor
01-Jul-201514h 48m 08s73d 43m 26s10.62.523Ursa Minor

See also

Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) remains within binocular and small scope range
Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) heads north during March, remains a binocular and small telescope object
Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) remains visible with binoculars and small telescopes during February 2015
How to see Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) during January 2015
Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) a naked eye comet for the New Year
Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) now visible with binoculars from Southern latitudes