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HomenewsFor the First Time in 50,000 Years, the Night Sky Will Be...

For the First Time in 50,000 Years, the Night Sky Will Be Graced by a Green Comet.

After a 50,000-year absence from Earth’s night sky, a newly found comet will shortly return.

According to NASA, the comet, which was discovered on March 2, 2022, by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California, will make its closest approach to the sun on January 12, 2023.

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According to The Planetary Society, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has a very lengthy orbit around the sun, taking it to the furthest limits of the solar system each time, which is why it has taken such a long voyage — and a long time — to swing by Earth again.

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On January 12th, skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere should use telescopes or binoculars to look low on the northeastern horizon soon before midnight.

The icy celestial object has been getting brighter as it gets closer to the sun, and it will make its closest pass of Earth between February 1 and 2, roughly 26 million miles (42 million kilometers) away, according to EarthSky; as the comet gets closer to Earth, observers will be able to spot it near the bright star Polaris, also known as the North Star, and it will be visible earlier in the evening.

According to NASA, skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere will be able to see the comet with binoculars in the morning sky throughout the majority of January, and skywatchers in the Southern Hemisphere will do so in early February.

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C/2022 E3 (ZTF) could become visible to the unassisted eye in dark skies by the end of January, depending on how brilliant it develops in the coming weeks.

The comet’s emerald coma and dusty tails set it out from the stars.
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During its close approach to the sun, a comet’s ice sublimates, turning it straight into gas and creating an envelope called a coma. As a result, telescope views of the comet will appear hazy.


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