February 8, 2023

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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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Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was discovered by astronomers using the Zwicky Transit Facility’s Wide Field Camera survey this year in early March.
(Dan Bartlett)

The agency notes that it’s still too dim to see without a telescope — 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 closest to Earth on February 1.

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On a journey through the inner solar system, Comet 2022 E3 will be at perihelion, the closest point to the Sun, on January 12th and at perihelion, the closest planet to our beautiful planet, on February 1st.

On a journey through the inner solar system, Comet 2022 E3 will be at perihelion, the closest point to the Sun, on January 12th and at perihelion, the closest planet to our beautiful planet, on February 1st.
(Dan Bartlett)

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.

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).”

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

Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) on July 27, 2020, from the Columbia Icefields (Jasper National Park, Alberta) of the icy parking lot, looks north over Lake Sunwapta, which was formed from the summer meltwater of the Athabasca glacier.

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

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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.