Friday, January 16, 2015
Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy Observations (15 January 2015)
After days of cloud and rain I finally got to see Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy again. This time the comet was really obvious to the unaided eye. I had to use averted vision to start with, but even then it was a lot easier to pick up than on the 11th (see images from the 11th here).
It might have been better sky conditions, or a less crowded patch of sky that made it easier to see. But my magnitude estimate using the 10x50 binoculars was dimmer than for the 11th (4.5, using 4 Tau M5, 5 Tau M4.1 Lambda Cet 4.7 and mu Cet 4.3 as comparison stars).
In binoculars the comet was round and fuzzy, no hint of tail structure. In the telescope (114mm Newtonian with 25mm Plossl eyepiece) the coma was clearly asymmetrical, but no clear tail. There was a well defined central condensation. Size still looked the same as last time. Yet again I neglected to measure the coma size.
This time I was unable to image the comet with the telescope, by the time I could set up the camera the comet was too low in the sky and the camera unbalanced the scope.
Finally to round off the night, this image from the iTelescopes all sky camera at the Siding Spring Observatory, shows comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy near Taurus.
Click to embiggen. The comet is indicated by the yellow lines.