C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is a comet that does not fly by Earth for 50,000 yearsIn the Paleolithic Age and during 2023 there will be a new approach to our planet, which can be seen with the naked eye without the need for additional equipment.
The comet is currently passing through the inner part of the Solar System, and its closest point to the Sun, or perihelion, will be closer to Earth on January 12. At its closest perigee pass between February 1 and 2.
This means that if the comet maintains its current brightness level, visible to the naked eye If the sky is dark at the time of observation, however, it is also possible to appreciate it with binoculars or a telescope in the days before its closest approach.
NASA details that this comet can be seen in the northern hemisphere in the early morning while it moves in the northeast direction throughout January, Otherwise, it will be visible in early February for observers located in the Southern Hemisphere.
To appreciate it, it is recommended to do it when the moon is darkest in the sky, Opportunity offered by the new moon on January 21However, it will also depend on whether the weather permits, and it will be located in the constellation Camelopardalis at that time.
The last time a comet “visited” Earth
According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the comet has an orbital period of about 50,000 years, and is at a distance of 160 million kilometers from the Sun, while On Earth it does so at 42 million kilometres.
This means that the last time the comet was seen passing our planet a wise man sand faced the last ice ageAlso known as Ice Age.
It was not specifically identified until recently, despite its history with the planet. early March 2022 With a wide-field survey camera at the Zwicky Transitional Facility.
However, before being located asteroid is consideredBecause it was inside the orbit of Jupiter, however, it suddenly began to increase in brightness, as is the case with comets.
There is currently a halo of gas and dust around the comet, and green glowsas well as a long, thin tail that extends from its main body.