Comets not seen since Neanderthals walked Earth set out to make the return journey – and astronomers have shared the first image of a distinct “cosmic viper”.
Formally known as C/2022 E3 (ZTF), the comet orbits the sun every 50,000 years until it will make its closest approach to our planet on February 1, 2023.
E3 was discovered in March, but scientists recently took the first photo to reveal its bright green hair and dusty tail.
While the comet is too dim to see without a telescope, it should be visible to the naked eye since it is about 26 million miles away.
E3 was discovered in March, but scientists recently took the first photo of it, showing its bright green hair and dusty yellow tail.
In early March, astronomers found Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) in a wide-field survey at the Zwicky Transit Facility.
When, therefore, the new comet has brightened substantially for a long time, and will already shine into the sky across the northern constellation of the Corona Borealis.
The comet is currently 117 million miles from Earth and on January 1, it will make its closest approach to our planet.
And E3 will be the first comet seen with the naked eye with comet NEOWISE in July 2020.
But NEOWISE has left a long, hazy tail, and the E3 series is likely to appear in the night sky.
It should be seen at E3 on January 26, but on February 1 it reaches its peak.
This comet is not the only cosmic display set for 2023, as the year will kick off with the fourth annual meteor shower and end with December’s impressive Geminid meteor shower.
Quadrantid is one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year and you don’t need special equipment to see it.
While the meteor shower technically began today, it will reach its peak during the night of January 3 and the morning of January 4.
The shower is above average, which usually sees 40 meteors per hour.
At the extremes, up to 200 passing stars can be seen per hour, but it depends on perfect conditions and ideally on Earth.
And, as 2023 comes to a close, the Geminid meteor shower will light up the sky from December 13th to the 14th.
The comet is currently 117 million miles from Earth and will pass by the Sun on January 1st, and will make its closest approach to our planet.
This comet isn’t the only cosmic display set for 2023, as the year will kick off with the 40th annual meteor shower and end with the impressive Geminid meteor (pictured) in December.
Meteors are mostly white, but they can also be yellow, green, red or blue.
While comets produce more meteor showers, the Geminid meteor shower is unique as the shower is produced as the earth tracks through debris created by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon.
Head to a dark area, away from light dirt, and allow your eyes at least 30 minutes to adjust to the night sky.
The Geminid meteor shower was first reported in 1862, but it wasn’t until 1983 that the 3200 Phaethon was identified as the source by scientists.
They are called the Geminids, because when the Earth passes through the debris, it illuminates the star Castor in Gemini.
If you enjoyed this article…
Comet ATLAS may be the remnant of a mysterious ball that orbited within 23 million miles of the sun 5,000 years ago, a study has found.
Dinosaurs were wiped out by a comet that ‘pinballed’ by Jupiter before it slammed into Earth 66 million years ago – not an asteroid, scientists claim.
The bright green glacial ice that came within 7.1 million miles of Earth was once found to contain unusually high levels of ALCOHOL.
#comet #Neanderthals #existed #years #revealed #image