February 3, 2023

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50 thousand years passed. Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) visible from Earth again! It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Watch the comet pass live

What’s all this yelling about? Already in February 2023, the green comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF) will be closest to Earth, which was last visible from our planet 50,000 years ago. Years ago, that is, in the time of the Stone Age! This is a great treat for fans of sky observations and astrophotography, because the object will be visible to the naked eye. And now you can observe the comet with binoculars or telescopes.

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C/2022 E3 (ZTF) It is classified as a long-term comet Green comet. It was discovered at the Palomar Observatory (USA) using a device called Zwicky Transit Facility, which uses the 1.22-meter Samuel Oschin Telescope. It was discovered on March 2, 2022, by astronomers Bryce Paulin and Frank Massey. It’s interesting to add that at that time C / 2022 AH 3 It had a magnitude of 17.3 and was approximately 640 million kilometers from the Sun. At first, it was mistakenly assumed that the find could be an asteroid. This has been verified by close observations.

Palomar Observatory website:

This is no joke! The last comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) It was visible from Earth until the Stone Age. Can you imagine? This long period between its reappearances is due to the fact that it revolves around the sun in a very long (from our point of view) orbit. Green comet, crossing the far ends of our solar system, needs approximately 50,000. years to approach our planet again. So it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this thing.

Guilty from our point of view C/2022 E3 (ZTF) It will fly toward the constellation Ursa Minor, and the closer you get to it, the earlier it will appear in the night sky. unsplash

Exactly January 12, 2023 Comet c/2022 E3 It passed through the point of its orbit closest to the Sun (the so-called perihelion) at a distance of 1.11 astronomical units (1.11 AU), or 166 million km. It is currently located 103 million km from Earth, but will be closest to our planet on February 1, when the distance will be 42 million km (0.28 AU).

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