This icy body comes from the far reaches of the solar system and comes to Earth after 50,000 years. So you could see it with the naked eye.
Cometa C/2022 E3 (ZTF)Also known as the “green comet”, it continues to increase its characteristic brightness and is already visible to the naked eye. January and February 2023, Without a doubt, it is the most anticipated astronomical event of the month and one of the most important events of the year, as it is visible in both the Northern Hemisphere (Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Colombia, etc.), Ecuador and the Southern Hemisphere. hemisphere (Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, etc.).
Icy visitor reaches its closest point to the Sun (perihelion) 12 January. During that visit, the comet ran the risk of collapsing due to the heat of the star. However, this icy body seems to have resisted and continues to increase in brightness. This was confirmed by the Virtual Telescope Project, which broadcast live the night after.
Later, Its closest approach (perigee) to Earth will occur between February 1 and 2.When it is located 42 million kilometers away.
When will the comet be seen?
Since the beginning of the year, Comet C/2022 E3 has been photographed with small telescopes and Telescope, However, as it gets closer, its brightness will increase to the point that it can Can be seen with the naked eye in dark skiesNamely: clear, without light pollution on the surface and free of moonlight.
Nevertheless, NASA stresses that the brightness of comets is unpredictable, as their approach to the Sun can fragment them or make them even brighter.
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was photographed on January 18, when the star emitted a brightness of magnitude 6. Photo: Pepe Chambo / Comet
The following dates are those that provide the best opportunity to observe the comet without the aid of instruments, because, according to the Observation Database (COBS), its brightness magnitude (about 6) may be in the range visible to the plain. sight.
- From 20 to 31 January, in the Northern Hemisphere and in equatorial latitudes (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela). the comet will be brighter end of januarySo it would be easy to see those dates with the naked eye.
- February 1st to February 10th, in the Southern Hemisphere and the Northern Hemisphere. The comet will reach its maximum brightness, but the Moon will be difficult to see for the first few days. from 6 FebruaryThe satellite will be visible after a while, so that time can be put to good use.
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) captured by an amateur with a telescope last week. Photo: Michael Jagger / Twitter
What time to see the comet from today? where to look?
- In January, Around 4:00 to 5:30 in the morning: First you will be located in North eastIt will move north between Boyero and Hercules constellations and in the following days passing through Draco and Ursa Minor constellations.
The comet’s location (closer and closer to the horizon) in the Peruvian sky on a January morning. Image: Planetarium
- in February, From 45 minutes to 3 hours after sunset: View North side, Initially it will appear close to the horizon in the constellation Giraffe (Camelopardalis) and in later days it will move up to the constellation Auriga.
Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF in early February, at dusk. Image: Planetarium
What is known about Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)?
The comet was detected by astronomers on March 2, 2022. Bryce Bolin why Frank Masiwho used a telescope from the Zwicky Transient Facility Project (ZTF), in the United States. it was the third item (E3) identified during the same period. It is also a non-periodic comet. (C)As it last passed 50,000 years ago. By comparison, objects such as Halley’s Comet (1P/Halley) orbit the Sun over periods lasting only decades.
The position of Comet C/2022 E3 at its closest approach to Earth. Image: Skylive
The celestial body was found to pass through the orbit of Jupiter, and as it approaches the Sun, the ice in its core evaporates, leaving behind traces of dust and gas. Meanwhile, its carbon content gives a colorful appearance to its head or coma, which is why it is known as “”.green kite,
C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has one of two possible origins: the Kuiper Belt, a region of celestial bodies orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune; Or the Oort cloud, a layer that surrounds the Solar System composed mainly of comets, is located at such a distance that it could be reached by the Voyager spacecraft in only 300 years.
Editor’s note: This article was published Jan. 10 and has been updated based on emerging new information about Comet C/2022 E3 and its path through the inner Solar System.