41P Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak

Closest to Earth on 2017 April 1 at 0.142AU.
Closest to Sun on 2017 Apr 12 at 1.045AU.
Maximum magnitude ?5 in April 2017. Prone to outbursts.
Orbital period:  5.41 years

In 2017, the short period comet 41P Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak had a very favourable apparition.
The comet  was closest to the Earth on April 1 at 0.142AU and remained within 0.20AU between March 5 and May 3, a period of nearly 2 months.
41P TGK has a history of frequent outbursts. In 1973, the comet brightened some 10 orders of magnitude (14 to 4) on May 27,
 followed up by a second outburst (14 to 6) on July 8 of that year.
The comet was expected to reach magnitude 6 during April 2017. A similar event at closest approach could have made it an easy naked eye comet.
A good profile of past light curves to 1995 has been posted by Seichi Yoshida at his website.
You can see that the 2006 apparition passed rather uneventfully, with no reported outbursts,
but in 2001, there were 2 observed outbursts pre perihelion some 3 and 4 orders of magnitude.
In 1995, the comet was some 3 orders of magnitude brighter post perihelion.
The observed outbursts were of short duration, lasting only several days to weeks, slowly declining in brightness.

The coma morphology photographed in 1973 appears similar to the 15P Finlay outbursts in 2015.
The comet displayed a bow shock (parabilic hood) as well as an ion tail spine.
See my images of comet Finlay at 
15P Finlay (2014-15)

Below: 41P Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak on 2017 Feb 17.

At the start of March 2017, the magnitude 10 comet was situated in Leo, to the north west of Mu Leonis.
The comet rose at sunset but was better viewed at midnight local time.
Trekking northwards, it entered Leo Minor on March 6, and Ursa Major on March 13. Moonlight interfered from March 8.

March 2017 evening sky Finder chart for 35S latitude.

For observers at 35S latitude, the magnitude 8 comet fell below the northern horizon by March 20, and remained unobservable until April 20.

From April 20, the magnitude 6.5 comet rose a couple of degrees above the northern horizon at 4am local time, situated on the border of Hercules and Draco.
Visibility slowly improved as the comet trekked south-eastwards through Hercules.
Conveniently, the Moon disappeared from sight around the morning of April 23.
The coma diameter was quite large, 30' across, but diffuse, making it difficult to see in less than perfect skies.
On the morning of May 1, the now magnitude 7 comet transited at 5am local time and attained an altitude of 14 degrees, about 5 degrees west of Vega.

April-May-June 2017

The comets southern visibility improved during May as it trekked southwards through Lyra.
Moonlight interfered from the morning of May 10.
Towards the latter half of May, 41P became visible in the late evening hours.

On May 21, the now magnitude 9 comet was seen before midnight, situated low in the northeastern sky in Hercules, prior to moonrise.

On the morning of June 1, the comet transited north at about 2am local time at an altitude of 40 degrees, in the constellation of Hercules.
Moonlight interfered from the morning of June 6.
On the evening of June 14, 41P was seen in the moon free evening sky, best viewed after 9pm, located about 1.5 degrees west of star cluster NGC 6633 in Ophiuchus.
The comet then moved into Serpens by June 25th fading to magnitude 11