A green comet will orbit the Earth for the first time in 50,000 years

A green comet will orbit the Earth for the first time in 50,000 years
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A recently discovered green comet will approach Earth for the first time in 50,000 years. It was last seen in the night sky during the Stone Age.

Discovered on March 2, 2022 by astronomers using the Zwicky Transient Facility’s Wide Field Survey Camera at Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California, the comet made its closest approach to the sun on January 12. NASA.

named C/2022 E3 (ZTF)the comet has an orbit around the sun that passes through the outer points of the solar system, so it traveled such a long way and took a long time to swing by the earth again. Planet society.

asteroid belt solar system

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The icy body will make its closest approach to Earth between February 1 and February 2, at a distance of about 26 million miles to 27 million miles (42 million to 44 million kilometers). EarthSky.

Even at closest approach, the comet will still be 100 times farther from the Moon than Earth, according to EarthSky.

As the comet approaches Earth, observers will be able to see it as a faint green spot near the bright star Polaris, also called the North Star. Comets reflect different colors of light depending on their current position in orbit and their chemical composition.

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, the early morning sky after the moon sets after midnight is optimal for viewing the comet. For those in the southern hemisphere, it will be more difficult to see the space object.

Depending on its brightness, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) may be visible to the naked eye even in a dark sky, but binoculars or a telescope will make the comet easier to spot.

The comet can be distinguished from the stars by its streaky tails of dust and energetic particles, as well as the bright green coma surrounding it.

A coma is the envelope that forms around a comet as it passes close to the sun, causing its ice to sublimate or turn directly into gas. This causes the comet to appear blurry when viewed through telescopes.

After the comet passes the Earth, it will do itself Closest approach to Mars on February 10According to EarthSky.

If clouds or inclement weather prevent viewing of the sky, The Virtual Telescope Project will share a live stream of the comet In the skies above Rome. And don’t miss it Other celestial events to see in 2023.

M'nsing, Bavaria, December 14, 2020: A shooting star can be seen in the starry sky above a tree during the Geminid meteor shower.  Gemini is the strongest meteor shower of the year.  Photo: Matthias Balk/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

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