Keep your eyes on the night sky. a Discover a recent comet which has not spread across our region of the solar system since the last ice age, it will visit this month and in early February, according to astronomy experts.
Although the cosmic snowball – Known as Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) It probably won’t be as bright as 2021.Christmas GuiltyOr the 2020 comet known as NEOWISEexperts from NASA say that it should become Bright enough in the coming weeks For people to see it here on earth with them Only with the naked eye.
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was first spotted by astronomers using a powerful wide-field camera system in March 2022 as it accelerated through the outer solar system, near Jupiter. Experts say the comet is expected to pass close to the inner solar system – where our planet is located – this month.
When do you see the comet?
Astronomers from EarthSky.org He says the bright green comet will reach its closest point to the Sun on Thursday, January 12, 2023, and will reach its closest point to our planet on Thursday, February 2. On that day, the comet will be about 27 million miles away from Earth.
“So January and February are prime times for viewing this mysterious, icy visitor from the outer solar system,” says EarthSky.
If you live in the United States, or anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere, the Best time to look for the culprit It will be early morning, when the sky is still dark, according to Preston Disches of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Experts from EarthSky agree that stargazers may be able to spot the comet in the hours after midnight and before dawn. To get the best shot at seeing this rare cosmic object, people in the northern hemisphere should look “in the northern part of the sky below the Big Dipper.” during the pre-dawn hoursAccording to a report issued by IGN.com.
Although many experts believe the comet will become bright enough for people to see with the naked eye, some say Binoculars or telescopes may be required.
“Whether one is able to see it or not will depend on a variety of factors, including location and light pollution from natural and man-made sources,” Space.com notes.
Some say January 21st could be an ideal morning or night to search for this rare comet, because the skies will be very dark – thanks new moon phase. The Moon will only be 3% illuminated on January 20th and only 1% illuminated on January 22nd, so these can also be good viewing nights or mornings.
What is the culprit?
NASA describes comets Such as “cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rocks, and dust orbiting the sun.”
The space agency notes that “as a comet orbits close to the sun, it heats up and releases dust and gases in a giant glowing head larger than most planets.” “Dust and gases form a tail that extends millions of miles away from the sun.”
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) It was discovered on March 2, 2022 by two astronomers works at the Palomar Observatory in Southern California, according to Space.com. After collecting enough observations to calculate an orbit, astronomers determined that C/2022 E3 has an orbital period of about 50,000 years.
This means that this comet has not passed through our sector of the solar system for tens of thousands of years.
A live broadcast video is planned
Noteworthy: If your view is blocked by clouds, or if it’s too cold to go out to look for the comet, you can see it online. The free live broadcast, hosted by the Virtual Telescope Project, is scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. ET on January 12.
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Len Melisurgo can be reached at [email protected].
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