While not by this writing a new comet, c/2014 Q2 is the 5th comet discovered by Australian Terry Lovejoy in August 2014, then at magnitude 15.0. What is exciting for binocular users is that Comet Lovejoy Q2 is approaching naked eye visibility, now at magnitude 5, and has the potential to increase in brightness throughout January.
Also increasing it’s popularity with amateur astronomers is that the comet appears in the early evening sky just below the constellation Orion, making location timely and easily located. The comet is visible with binoculars all night long in both morning and evening skies. Photo’s of the comet are swarming in from all over the world, so the comet is already a household name in astronomical communities. Watch for it to break the local media over the next weeks. The chart below shows the progression of the comet throughout early January to the end of the month.
Q2 is a very long-period comet, with a calculated orbital period of roughly 11,500 years. That would mean it’s last visit was during the end of Earth’s last Ice Age.