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A recently discovered comet will appear in the night sky for the first time in 50,000 years.
Discovered on March 2, 2022 by astronomers using the Zwicky Transit Facility’s Wide Field Survey Camera at Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California, the comet will make its closest approach to the sun on January 12, according to NASA.
name of the thing C/2022 E3 (ZTF)The comet has an orbit around the sun that goes through the outer reaches of the solar system, which is why it took such a long journey – and such a long time – to swing by Earth again, according to Planetary Society.
According to Northern Hemisphere Skygazers using telescopes and binoculars, they must look low on the northeast horizon just before midnight to spot it on January 12. EarthSky.
The icy orb, which brightens steadily as it approaches the sun, will then make its closest pass to Earth between February 1 and February 2, about 26 million miles (42 million kilometers) away, according to EarthSky — as the comet approaches Earth, it will Observers were able to spot it near the bright star Polaris, also known as the North Star, and it should be visible in the early evening.
The comet should be visible through binoculars in the morning sky to skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere during most of January and those in the Southern Hemisphere in early February, according to NASA.
Depending on how bright it gets in the coming weeks, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) may become visible to the naked eye in dark skies towards the end of January.
The comet can be distinguished from the stars by its falling tails of dust and energetic particles, as well as the glowing green coma surrounding it. A coma is an envelope that forms around a comet as it passes close to the Sun, causing its ice to sublimate, or turn directly into gas. This makes the comet appear fuzzy when observed through telescopes.
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