Excerpt from smnweekly.com
Comet Lovejoy is scheduled to make an appearance right before New Year’s Day, a treat for astronomers looking forward to 2015.
Most revelers will be looking up to the sky to see the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, but skywatchers could be in for a treat if it’s not cloudy out: at around 11 PM local time the little comet, which looks a bit like a fuzzy green caterpillar, should be visible as it passes across the shins of the constellation Orion.
Of course not everyone is going to be interested in freezing their chestnuts off, especially in the colder climates of North America. If it’s too chilly for you to strain your eyes in order to spot the magnitude 5 comet, you can stay inside in the warmth and just wait for Lovejoy to grow a bit brighter. In fact, astronomers say you can expect the magnitude 5 comet to brighten to magnitude 4.1 over the next few weeks.
Best viewing conditions for New Year’s Eve will likely involve a bit of luck in not having any cloud cover. In addition, if you’ve got a pair of binoculars or a decent telescope you shouldn’t have any trouble spotting it – in fact, according to Alan MacRobert, senior editor of Sky and Telescope magazine, Lovejoy was clearly visible by using a pair of 10×50 magnification binoculars in a region that had more than its fair share of light pollution.