Green comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) visible in January: when, at what time and how to see it | Science

This icy body comes from the far reaches of the solar system and visits Earth after 50,000 years. So you could see it with the naked eye.

The Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)also known as “green comet”, continues to increase its characteristic brightness and could be observed with the naked eye this January and February 2023. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most anticipated astronomical events of the year, since it is visible both in the northern hemisphere (Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Colombia, etc.), Ecuador and the southern hemisphere (Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, etc.).

The icy visitor reached its closest point to the Sun (perihelion) on 12th of January. During that journey, the comet risked collapsing due to the heat of the star. However, it seems that this icy body has resisted and continues to increase in brightness. This was confirmed by the Virtual Telescope Project, which made a live broadcast the night after.

Later, its closest approach to Earth (perigee) will occur between February 1 and 2when 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 imaged with small telescopes and binoculars. However, as it continues to get closer, its brightness will increase to the point that it could be visible to the naked eye in dark skiesthat is to say: clear, without light pollution on the surface and free of moonshine.

Even so, NASA emphasizes that the brightness of comets is unpredictable, since their approach to the Sun could fragment them or make them even brighter.

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