For The First Time in 50.000 Years, Green Comet Will Appear in The Night Sky
Soon, a green comet that was recently identified will fly past Earth for the first time in 50,000 years. The Stone Age was the last time it was visible in the night sky.
The comet was found on March 2, 2022, by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera of the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California. According to NASA, the comet was closest to the sun on January 12.
According to The Planetary Society, the comet with the designation C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has an orbit around the sun that travels through the outer regions of the solar system, which explains why it has taken so long for it to pass by Earth once more.
According to EarthSky, the ice cosmic object will pass by Earth at its closest point between February 1 and February 2, from a distance of 26 million to 27 million miles (42 million to 44 million kilometers). The comet will still be further from Earth than the moon is even at its closest approach.
Observers will be able to see the comet as a dim green smudge close to the bright star Polaris, popularly known as the North Star, as it approaches Earth. Due to their present positions in the orbit and chemical makeup, comets reflect various colors of light.
The best time to watch the comet is in the early morning hours after the moon has set for those in the Northern Hemisphere after midnight. For people in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be more challenging to see the space object.
Using binoculars or a telescope will make it easier to observe C/2022 E3 (ZTF), while it may be visible to the unaided eye in the dark depending on its brightness. The comet's streaking tails of dust and charged particles, as well as the brilliant green coma that surrounds it, can be used to tell it apart from stars.
As a comet approaches the sun, a coma builds around it, causing its ice to sublimate, or transform instantly into gas. When viewed through a telescope, the comet appears hazy as a result. According to EarthSky, the comet will come the closest to Mars on February 10 after passing by Earth.
The Virtual Telescope Project will broadcast a live stream of the comet in the skies above Rome if clouds or bad weather prevent skywatching. Also, keep an eye out for additional cosmic events in 2023.
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