The green comet discovered last March will make its approach to Earth next month.
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was first discovered by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at California’s Zwicky Transient Facility.
It was already a blinding Thursday.
Since then, it has brightened substantially and swept across the northern constellation of the Corona Borealis into a clear sky, according to NASA.
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The agency notes that it’s still too dark to see without a telescope — though an image from December shows a bright mane, a broad dusty tail, and a short, wiry tail.
The comet will be at perihelion, closest to the Sun, on January 12th and closest to Earth on February 1st.
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NASA notes that the brightness of comets is unpredictable, but – then – C/2022 E3 (ZTF) can only be visible to the naked eye in the night sky.
“Observers in the Northern Hemisphere will find the comet in the morning sky as it moves rapidly to the dance floor in January. (In the Southern Hemisphere it will become visible in early February),” he said.
The comet here is not going to be as spectacular as Comet NEOWISE was in 2020.
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It has a full orbit of about 50,000 years, according to NASA’s Propulsion Laboratory, which means the last time it came this close to Earth was when Neanderthals roamed the planet.
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