Insight Observatory's Creative Director,
Paul Bonfilio Explains the Anatomy of
a comet to students and parents
C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is a long-period comet discovered on 17 August 2014 by Terry Lovejoy using an 8" Schmidt–Cassegrain telescope. The comet was discovered at apparent magnitude 15 in the southern constellation of Puppis. It is the fifth comet discovered by Terry Lovejoy.
By December 2014, the comet had brightened to roughly magnitude 7.4, making the comet a small telescope and binoculars target. By mid-December, the comet was visible to the naked eye for experienced observers with dark skies and keen eyesight.
Astrophotographer Chris Schur captured Comet Lovejoy
C/2014 Q2 with globular cluster M79 on Dec. 28, 2014,
from Payson, Arizona
Before entering the planetary region (epoch 1950), C/2014 Q2 had an orbital period of about 11000 years. After leaving the planetary region (epoch 2050), it will have an orbital period of about 8000 years.