Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques

I managed to find this comet quite easily as a large fuzzy dot with my 10×50 binoculars on the 3rd August 2014 when it was south of eta Aurigae. Visually I couldn’t see a tail, but I’ve been informed that one appears on images. It was around magnitude 6–7, so quite bright, and it’s moving towards Perseus, fading as it goes. Here’s a chart (Carte du Ciel again) to help you find it (click on it for a larger view).

Finder chart for Comet C2014 E2 Jacques

Each point on the path is at 23:00 on the day indicated, when it should be clear of the eastern horizon. Auriga and Perseus are distinctive constellations that show up even in light polluted skies.

I’d recommend making the effort to see this comet as we don’t get many in the northern hemisphere within range of binocular astronomers.

Blogging about amateur astronomy

My name is James Whinfrey and I’m in my third year of amateur astronomy in the UK where it’s wet and cloudy.

I’m not sure why I started, other than the first BBC Stargazing Live, but I’m very glad I did, and I’m hoping I can convince others to have a go too.

I’ve progressed from clueless staring into an eye piece to moderately more-knowledge-than-none and a member of several organisations including a local astro society in Northampton.

I love observing double and variable stars – of which I regularly submit observations – and I’ve several new projects lined up for this year.

And for a first post my choice of title tells the story.