The green comet will pass Earth for the first time since Neanderthals roamed the Earth

A green comet was discovered last March Closest approach to Earth This month.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was first detected by astronomers using the Wide Field Survey Camera at California’s Zwicky Transit Facility.

It was already inside Jupiter’s orbit.

Since then, it has brightened dramatically as it sweeps across the northern constellation Corona Borealis in the predawn sky, according to NASA.

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Jupiter, 1979. Taken from Voyager 1 at a distance of 20 million kilometers, these images show the Great Red Spot, a storm raging for hundreds of years, and two of Jupiter’s moons – Io above the red spot and Europa.
((Photo by Oxford Archives of Science/Print Collector/Getty Images))

It’s still too dim to see without a telescope, the agency notes — although an image from December reveals a bright coma, a short broad dust tail, and a faint ion tail.

The comet will be at perihelionclosest to the Sun, on January 12, and at its closest point to Earth on February 1.

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Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) on July 27, 2020, from the Columbia Icefields (Jasper National Park, Alberta) from the parking lot at Toe of the Glacier, looking north over Lake Sunwapta, formed by the summer meltwater of the Athabasca glacier.

Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) on July 27, 2020, from the Columbia Icefields (Jasper National Park, Alberta) from the parking lot at Toe of the Glacier, looking north over Lake Sunwapta, formed by the summer meltwater of the Athabasca glacier.
(Photo: Alan Dyer/VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty)

NASA notes that the brightness of comets is unpredictable, but that – by then – C/2022 E3 (ZTF) It can become visible to the eye only in the night sky.

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She added, “Observers in the northern hemisphere will find the comet in the morning sky, as it moves rapidly northwestward during January (it will become visible in the southern hemisphere in early February).”

This comet is not expected to be as visible as Comet NEOES in 2020.

A Neanderthal man in the Human Evolution exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London, England, UK.

A Neanderthal man in the Human Evolution exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London, England, UK.
((Photo by Mike Kemp/Images via Getty Images))

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Its full orbit is about 50,000 years old, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion LaboratoryThis means that the last time he approached Earth was when Neanderthals roamed the planet.

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