January 27, 2023

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Unseen comet 50,000 years ago years. It will appear in the sky in early 2023

The comet, which last appeared in the night sky during the Ice Age, will be visible again in February 2023. The return of an object named C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was announced in a NASA statement.

Comet designated by NASA as C/2022 E3 (ZTF)It orbits the sun every 50,000 years. Years. According to the space agency’s announcement, this unique object will light up the sky again on February 1, 2023 at a distance of about 44 million km from Earth.

According to NASA, there is a good chance that the comet will be visible to the naked eye as early as mid- or late-January. However, the best way to spot them is with binoculars or low telescopes, in areas free from light pollution, when the sky is not cloudy.

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The first comet in 2023

Astronomers who tracked comet C/2022 E3 say it has a blue-green coma and a golden tail. The comet was first discovered by astronomers Bryce Paulin and Frank Massey using the Zwicky Transit Probe (ZTF) on March 2, 2022. It was subsequently imaged by NASA astronomers.

Since then, the new long-period comet has brightened dramatically and is now crossing the northern constellation of Corona Borealis in the mid-morning sky. Still too faint to see without a telescope, however, this beautiful telescope image on December 19 appears much brighter, A greenish coma, a short, broad tail of dust and a long faint ion tail stretching across a wide 2.5-degree field of view,” NASA wrote in its post about the famous comet.

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The comet will be at perihelion, which is the point closest to the sun, on January 12th. In contrast, its perihelion, that is, its closest trip to Earth, will take place on February 1. Anyone who wants to see Comet C/2022 E3 has to go to a dark place and give their eyes half an hour to adjust to the dark. Specialized applications such as Star Chart, Sky Safari or SkyView can also help track the comet’s position in the sky.

Konrad Siwick, journalist at Wirtualna Polska