Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news of amazing discoveries, scientific advances, and more.
A recently discovered green comet will pass close to Earth for the first time in 50,000 years. It was last visible in the night sky during the Stone Age.
Discovered on March 2, 2022 by astronomers using the Zwicky Transit Facility’s Wide Field Survey Camera at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California, the comet made its closest point to the sun on January 12, according to NASA.
name of the thing C/2022 E3 (ZTF)The comet has an orbit around the sun that goes through the outer reaches of the solar system, which is why it took such a long way – and such a long time – to swing by Earth again, according to Planetary Society.
According to EarthSky.
Even during its closest approach, the comet will still be more than 100 times the Moon’s distance from Earth, according to EarthSky.
As the comet approaches Earth, observers will be able to spot it as a faint green smudge near the bright star Polaris, also known as the North Star. Comets reflect different colors of light due to their current positions in orbit and chemical compositions.
Early morning skies, once the moon sets after midnight for those in the Northern Hemisphere, are ideal for comet viewing. Seeing the space object will be more difficult for those in the southern hemisphere.
Depending on its brightness, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) may be visible to the naked eye in dark skies, but binoculars or a telescope will make the comet easier to see.
The comet can be distinguished from the stars by its falling tails of dust and energetic particles, as well as the glowing green coma surrounding it.
A coma is an envelope that forms around a comet as it passes close to the Sun, causing its ice to sublimate, or turn directly into gas. This makes the comet appear fuzzy when observed through telescopes.
After passing through the Earth, the comet will be made Closest approach to Mars on February 10thAccording to EarthSky.
If clouds or inclement weather obstruct the observation of the sky, The Virtual Telescope Project will share live broadcasts of the comet In the sky over Rome. And don’t miss it Other celestial events to see in 2023.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”