A comet that was discovered only last year will approach Earth where it may be possible to see it with the naked eye later this month. And you might want to go out and find it, as experts say the comet isn’t likely to return to Earth’s orbit for at least another 50,000 years.
The comet, C/2022 E3 (ZTF), was first observed by a large telescope in March 2022 when it passed Jupiter’s orbit. This comet is called the E3 Comet — even though it has nothing to do with the big game show E3 — and it comes from the Comet. Oort Cloud Earth’s solar system. NASA says the spot is like a giant, thick-walled bubble made of icy bits of space debris.
Comet E3, which experts believe dates back 4.6 billion years to when the solar system formed, is coming as close to Earth as it will ever come on February 2. It has a bright green coma and a tail. Photographer Dan Bartlett photographed it using a large lens from June Lake, California (at an elevation of about 7,000 feet) in December. You can. Check out Bartlett’s photos on Astrobin.
CBS News reports That NASA believes that Comet E3 will be easier to see with binoculars, or with the naked eye in sparsely populated areas with better visibility and less light pollution. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the best time to look for Comet E3 is early in January as the comet races westward. People in the Southern Hemisphere will have a better shot at seeing it in early February.
Comet E3 has already traveled billions of miles to reach Earth from the edge of our solar system, and it will be traveling at more than 128,000 miles per hour when it approaches. If you’re at all interested in catching a glimpse, definitely try, says Jessica Lee, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Newsweek that the comet may not return for at least another 50,000 years.
Watch NASA’s video above to learn more about the E3 comet and how you can see it in the sky. As mentioned, this comet has nothing to do with the summer’s big gaming show E3, but it’s pretty interesting that it just happens to make an appearance. That’s when E3 makes its big comeback.. Makes you think…
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