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Once-in-a-lifetime green comet approaching closest point to Earth

Next week will see the closest approach of a rare green comet to Earth.

Comet C/2022 E3(ZTF) was visible in binoculars and telescopes earlier this month. It could soon be visible with the naked eye, as it becomes closer to Earth.

Experts recommend that those who don’t have the equipment to capture the green comet should do so on February 1 and 2. This is when it will be most visible against the night sky.

It will be visible from both the northern and southern hemispheres at its closest point, which is only 28 million miles away.

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NASA described the rare fly-by of the comet as an “awesome chance to make a personal contact with an icy visitor from our distant outer solar system”.


When is it best to see it?

The visibility was at its best before dawn up to now.

The comet will still be visible as February approaches and January winds down.

Between next Wednesday and Thursday, the comet will be its closest and brightest.

The Royal Observatory at Greenwich recommends that you verify the time of the moon’s rise in your area to prevent it from obscuring the comet’s light.

C/2022 E3(ZTF) has been predicted to be one the most spectacular comet sightings in 2023. However, it will not be as impressive as the Neowise comet of three years ago.

As it flew past Earth, that one left behind a beautiful streak.

More: There have been hundreds of sightings in the UK of fireballs

Meteorite helps to boost theory about the origins of Earth’s oceans

Image: Comet NEOWISE shines brightly on 2020’s solar approach Pic: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Lab/Parker Solar Probe/Brendan Gallagher


What can I do to help you spot it?

Since 12 January, binoculars and telescopes make it easy to see the comet.

Even if you don’t have such equipment, there are still ways to increase your chances of seeing it.

Skygazing apps such as Night Sky, SkyView, and Sky Guide are great tools. They can help you locate comets precisely by mapping constellations of stars.

These apps use augmented reality to show you constellations and give tips for finding comets.

The Camelopardalis constellation will host the green comet as it approaches Earth.

It’s possible to see it in person by traveling through Corona Borealis and Bootes, Draco and Ursa Major.

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2020: Comets streak across N Ireland’s night sky


What other information do we have about C/2022 E3? (ZTF?)?

The comet, which was icy green in color, was discovered by Zwicky Transient Facility in California on March 2, 2022.

Astronomers estimated that the orbital period, which is the time it takes for the sun to travel around the earth, was approximately 50,000 years.

This would make Earth’s last journey as close as possible, just like it did back in the Stone Age.

It is believed that the comet originated in the Oort Cloud, near the solar system’s outer reaches.

NASA refers to the cloud as “a collection of icy objects further away than all other things in the solar system”.

It is so far away that it has yet to be explored by any spacecraft, although there are several en route.

They will not be able to reach their destination in time, and they will soon be out of power.

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