February 1, 2023

The green comet passes close to Earth; See pictures and how to observe

yesterday (12), sinner Which has not visited us for 50,000 years and has reached its closest point to the sun, 166 million km away. After its journey through the universe, it heads toward Earth, passing “only” 42 million kilometers from our planet on February 2nd.

C/2022 E3 Ticket (ZTF)The comet is very bright and green, after the sun heats the gases in its nucleus, forming the beautiful tail. It can already be seen with the help of telescopes and may even be observed with the naked eye from some parts of the planet in the coming weeks.

Check out some of the best photos ever taken:

Weißenkirchen, Austria

Photo: Michael Jagger

Comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF) - Chris Shore - Chris Shore

Payson, Arizona (USA)

Photo: Chris Shore

Comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF) - John Chumack / GalacticImages.com - John Chumack / GalacticImages.com

Yellow Springs, Ohio (USA)

Photo: John Chumack/GalacticImages.com

Comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF) - Michael Jagger - Michael Jagger

Weißenkirchen, Austria

Photo: Michael Jagger

Comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF) - Ladva House - Ladva House

London, England

Photo: Darshna Ladva

Why is it green?

In photos, it attracts attention with its green glow and long bluish tail.

The comet only looks like this when it approaches the Sun (farther from it, it’s just a “dirty” ice ball, with pieces of rock in it). Here, the ice in its core passes directly from a solid to a gaseous state, releasing gases and dust, which creates a cloud around it – called a cloud. with the or “hair”.

In this, due to its composition, it is very green. The unusual color is probably due to the presence of diatomic carbon.

And as we get closer to the sun, these particles are spread out over thousands of kilometers, “flyed out” by the solar wind. There a tail forms – and disappears as the comet moves away from our star. The C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is bluish in color and has a triangular appearance.

But these details can only be seen with the help of telescopes and professional cameras (astrophotography). Perhaps, to the naked eye, it would look like a hazy star, a speck in the sky.

How to see?

Unfortunately for Brazilians, the northern hemisphere is privileged on this note, due to the comet’s position in the sky. At perihelion (maximum approximation of Earth, at 2/2), it will appear near the constellation of the Giraffe, and is not visible here.

But, as the days go by, it will be possible to see it (less bright, moving farther) in the north, near the horizon, in the region of the constellation the Wheel (Auriga), in the small window of time between sunset and midnight.

Anyone who wants to check their position and movement over time can use an astronomy app like Skywalk, Starchart, Sky Safari or Stellarium. To try to see it, we recommend using binoculars.

live streams

Either way, technology will allow us to see C/2022 e 3 (ZTF), from anywhere, through the lives of some observatories around the world — such as the Virtual Telescope Project and Real Pax.

The wayward object was discovered in March 2022 by a telescope at the Zwicky Transit Facility (ZTF – hence its name) in California, United States. At first, he thought it was a model asteroid. But the increase in brightness as it passed Jupiter’s orbit revealed that C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was a comet in origin.

It is a small rocky and icy body, only one kilometer in diameter, coming from the depths of the solar system. for him It last passed near Earth 50,000 years ago, at the end of the Ice Age; Witnesses were our ancestors Neanderthals And the first to turn down sapiens.

know more About comets, meteorites and asteroids.