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Comet Jacques, C/2014 E2. Visible August-September 2014

    Comet Jacques was discovered by a team led by Brazilian astronomer Cristóvão Jacques in March. After its closest approach to the Sun on 2 July it has been in the morning sky, but it is now climbing the evening sky. At about magnitude 8 it is not a naked-eye object, but it is visible with a telescope in a reasonably dark sky.
   It is now fading, but you have two or three weeks to look for it. It appears as a fuzzy blob, as its tail is very poorly developed. The comet is currently over an astronomical unit (AU, the Earth-Sun distance) from the Sun, and about 0.7 AU from Earth.
    To find it, first look for the constellation of Cygnus (also known as the Northern Cross), more or less overhead. Then use the chart below to find the exact spot. It has faded in recent days, so you will probably need a telescope rather than binoculars. The chart shows the positions of the comet during the evening of the dates shown.
    Photographs of the comet show it as greenish, a typical colour for comets. Even a short undriven exposure with a good DSLR camera will show the object, though for best results you need a driven telescope or telephoto lens and an exposure time of 30 seconds or more.
    For detailed positions for the object, go to the main SPA Comet Section web page (http://www.popastro.com/comet/index.php), and scroll down to 'Comet Ephemerides (positions)' where you will find a link for Comet Jacques.

Photo of Comet Jacques taken on 24 August at 1 am BST using an 80 mm refractor and Canon 70D camera. Combination of five 30-sec exposures. Robin Scagell

By 4 September the comet has faded and requires more magnification to view it than during August.