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Comet MASTER remains well placed from southern latitudes as it heads towards closest approach to Earth and perihelion in May. During the first half of the month it's visible towards the east just before sunrise, before switching to the evening sky for the last two weeks. It's then appears fairly high in the western sky after sunset. At its brightest MASTER should be visible to the naked eye and easily seen with binoculars.

Unfortunately, from northern temperate locations the comet is not visible until September when it will be extremely faint.

Comet MASTER (Ian Musgrave - astroblogger.blogspot.com)

Location and star chart

The comet picks up pace during May as it moves through a handful of southerly constellations. It starts the month in Sculptor on an east-southeast trajectory before crossing into Fornax on May 8th. The next stop for MASTER is Eridanus where it arrives on May 14th. Three days later it briefly passes through Caelum before moving into Lepus on May 18th. Then comes Canis Major on May 22nd and finally the comet crosses into Monoceros on May 26th where it remains until June 7th.

It's predicted that MASTER will brighten from magnitude +7.0 at the beginning of May to a peak of magnitude +5.1 on May 15th. A few days either side of this it should be visible to the naked eye and an easy binocular and small scope target. On May 18th, the comet passes less than a degree north of mag. +8.1 globular cluster M79 in Lepus. It then passes just north of mag. +5.9 open cluster M50 on May 29th. Although fading to magnitude +6.3 by months end it remains bright and easily within binocular and small scope range. Of course, comets are unpredictable and anything could happen, so keep watching!

MASTER passes closest to Earth on May 13th at 70 million kilometres or 44 million miles distant before reaching perihelion on May 23rd when it's 115 million kilometres (72 million miles) from the Sun.

The finder charts below show the positions of comet MASTER from April 17 to June 11, 2015.

Comet MASTER (C/2015 Q2) Finder Chart from May 26th to June 11th, 2015

Comet MASTER (C/2015 Q2) Finder Chart from May 26th to June 11th, 2015 - pdf format

Comet MASTER (C/2015 Q2) Finder Chart from May 16th to May 26th, 2015

Comet MASTER (C/2015 Q2) Finder Chart from May 16th to May 26th, 2015 - pdf format

Comet MASTER (C/2015 Q2) Finder Chart from May 11th to May 16th, 2015

Comet MASTER (C/2015 Q2) Finder Chart from May 11th to May 16th, 2015 - pdf format

Comet MASTER (C/2015 Q2) Finder Chart from May 5th to May 11th, 2015

Comet MASTER (C/2015 Q2) Finder Chart from May 5th to May 11th, 2015 - pdf format

Comet MASTER (C/2015 Q2) Finder Chart from April 17th to May 5th, 2015

Comet MASTER (C/2015 Q2) Finder Chart from April 17th to May 5th, 2015 - pdf format

C/2015 G2 (MASTER) Data (at epoch April 8, 2015)

NameC/2015 G2 (MASTER)
TypeComet
DiscovererMASTER telescope at the South African Astronomical Observatory
Discovery dateApril 7, 2015
Perihelion (AU)0.77972
Eccentricity1.00000
Orbital period (years)Unknown
Inclination (degrees) 147.631
Longitude of ascending node (degrees)110.020
Perihelion May 23rd, 2015

Comet (C2015/G2) MASTER Data Table

DateRight AscensionDeclinationMag.Distance from Earth (AU)Constellation
01-May-201523h 37m 54s-28d 19m 04s7.00.693Sculptor
02-May-201523h 48m 35s-29d 15m 11s6.80.663Sculptor
03-May-201500h 00m 31s-30d 12m 21s6.60.634Sculptor
04-May-201500h 13m 51s-31d 09m 33s6.40.607Sculptor
05-May-201500h 28m 44s-32d 05m 20s6.20.581Sculptor
06-May-201500h 45m 19s-32d 57m 44s6.00.557Sculptor
07-May-201501h 03m 42s-33d 44m 14s5.80.536Sculptor
08-May-201501h 23m 55s-34d 21m 44s5.60.517Sculptor
09-May-201501h 45m 52s-34d 46m 44s5.50.500Fornax
10-May-201502h 09m 19s-34d 55m 42s5.40.488Fornax
11-May-201502h 33m 55s-34d 45m 34s5.30.478Fornax
12-May-201502h 59m 06s-34d 14m 21s5.20.472Fornax
13-May-201503h 24m 16s-33d 21m 36s5.20.471Fornax
14-May-201503h 48m 49s-32d 08m 45s5.20.473Fornax
15-May-201504h 12m 13s-30d 38m 45s5.10.479Eridanus
16-May-201504h 34m 05s-28d 55m 40s5.10.489Eridanus
17-May-201504h 54m 11s-27d 03m 57s5.20.502Caelum
18-May-201505h 12m 26s-25d 07m 47s5.20.519Lepus
19-May-201505h 28m 52s-23d 10m 46s5.20.538Lepus
20-May-201505h 43m 35s-21d 15m 40s5.30.561Lepus
21-May-201505h 56m 43s-19d 24m 26s5.30.585Lepus
22-May-201506h 08m 25s-17d 38m 18s5.40.611Lepus
23-May-201506h 18m 51s-15d 57m 58s5.40.639Canis Major
24-May-201506h 28m 11s-14d 23m 41s5.50.669Canis Major
25-May-201506h 36m 31s-12d 55m 28s5.60.700Canis Major
26-May-201506h 43m 59s-11d 33m 06s5.70.731Canis Major
27-May-201506h 50m 43s-10d 16m 17s5.80.764Monoceros
28-May-201506h 56m 46s-09d 04m 39s5.90.797Monoceros
29-May-201507h 02m 15s-07d 57m 48s6.00.831Monoceros
30-May-201507h 07m 13s-06d 55m 22s6.10.865Monoceros
31-May-201507h 11m 45s-05d 56m 59s6.30.899Monoceros
01-Jun-201507h 15m 52s-05d 02m 17s6.40.934Monoceros
02-Jun-201507h 19m 39s-04d 10m 57s6.50.969Monoceros
03-Jun-201507h 23m 06s-03d 22m 41s6.61.004Monoceros
04-Jun-201507h 26m 18s-02d 37m 14s6.71.039Monoceros
05-Jun-201507h 29m 14s-01d 54m 21s6.91.074Monoceros
06-Jun-201507h 31m 57s-01d 13m 48s7.01.109Monoceros
07-Jun-201507h 34m 28s-00d 35m 25s7.11.143Monoceros
08-Jun-201507h 36m 49s00d 00m 60s7.21.178Canis Minor
09-Jun-201507h 39m 01s00d 35m 35s7.31.212Canis Minor
10-Jun-201507h 41m 03s01d 08m 30s7.51.247Canis Minor
11-Jun-201507h 42m 58s01d 39m 52s7.61.281Canis Minor
12-Jun-201507h 44m 46s02d 09m 48s7.71.314Canis Minor
13-Jun-201507h 46m 28s02d 38m 24s7.81.348Canis Minor
14-Jun-201507h 48m 04s03d 05m 46s8.01.381Canis Minor
15-Jun-201507h 49m 35s03d 31m 59s8.11.413Canis Minor
16-Jun-201507h 51m 01s03d 57m 08s8.21.446Canis Minor
17-Jun-201507h 52m 23s04d 21m 16s8.31.478Canis Minor
18-Jun-201507h 53m 42s04d 44m 28s8.51.509Canis Minor
19-Jun-201507h 54m 56s05d 06m 47s8.61.540Canis Minor
20-Jun-201507h 56m 07s05d 28m 16s8.71.571Canis Minor
21-Jun-201507h 57m 16s05d 48m 59s8.81.602Canis Minor
22-Jun-201507h 58m 21s06d 08m 57s9.01.632Canis Minor
23-Jun-201507h 59m 24s06d 28m 15s9.11.661Canis Minor
24-Jun-201508h 00m 25s06d 46m 53s9.21.691Canis Minor
25-Jun-201508h 01m 24s07d 04m 54s9.31.719Canis Minor
26-Jun-201508h 02m 21s07d 22m 20s9.41.748Cancer
27-Jun-201508h 03m 16s07d 39m 13s9.61.776Cancer
28-Jun-201508h 04m 09s07d 55m 34s9.71.803Cancer
29-Jun-201508h 05m 01s08d 11m 26s9.81.830Cancer
30-Jun-201508h 05m 52s08d 26m 49s9.91.857Cancer

See also

Comet MASTER (C/2015 G2) a naked eye comet for May 2015