Comet C2014 E2 (Jacques)

Comet C2014 E2 (Jacques) is now a 6th magnitude object and easy to view and photograph.  The coma is very bright and the tail has an intricate structure.

C/2014 E2 Jacques is so named because it is a non periodic comet (hence the "C" as opposed to "P" for periodic comet that returns every several years) that was discovered in 2014.  The letter E indicates it was discovered in the first half of March (the letters indicate the half month of discovery, A for first half of January, B for second half, C for first half of February, D for second half, and E for first half of March, etc).  The digit 2 indicates this was the second comet discovered in March, 2014.  Jacques refers to the name or group making the discovery, in this case Cristovao Jacques of the SONEAR Observatory near Oliverira, Brazil.  

When it was discovered, it was at 14.7 magnitude, which is very dim.  It is now 6.9 magnitude.  This means that in a very dark viewing site, such as the Everglades of Florida, the object will be a very dim one when viewed with the unaided eye.  In the light pollution of a city like Orlando, Florida, the object will not be seen without a telescope.  To really view the comet, a telescope and camera are a must.

The comet will reach perigee (the closest approach to Earth) on August 28, 2014.  It will be 52,000,000 miles, or 84,000,000 kilometers away.  That is quite a distance, but astronomically speaking it is not that far - just a little more than half the distance between the earth and the sun.

No comments: