What is, when and how to see the unusual green comet that will be visible for the first time in 50,000 years?
(CNN) — A newly discovered comet will soon appear in the sky for the first time in 50,000 years.
The comet was discovered on March 2, 2022, by astronomers using the Zwicky Transient Facility Wide Field Survey Camera at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California. And it made its closest approach to the Sun on January 12, according to NASA.
baptized as C/2022 E3 (ZTF), it has an orbit around the Sun that passes through the far reaches of the solar system, that’s why it took so long to pass Earth again, according to The Planetary Society.
According to earthskyNorthern Hemisphere observers using telescopes and binoculars had to look toward the northeast horizon just before midnight to see it on January 12.
When and how to see the comet?
According to EarthSky, the icy celestial object, which has been increasing in brightness as it approaches the Sun, will make its closest pass to Earth between February 1 and 2, some 42 million kilometers away. As the comet approaches Earth, observers will be able to see it near the bright star Pole, also called the North Star, and it should be visible earlier in the evening.
According to NASA, the comet will be visible with binoculars in the morning sky to observers in the Northern Hemisphere for most of January and to observers in the Southern Hemisphere in early February.
Depending on its brightness in the coming weeks, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) could even be visible to the naked eye in dark skies towards the end of January.
The comet is distinguished from the stars by its tails of dust and energized particles, as well as the bright green coma that surrounds it. The coma is an envelope that forms around a comet when it passes close to the Sun, causing its ice to sublime, or to turn directly into gas. This causes the comet to appear fuzzy when viewed through telescopes.
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