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One night only! Meet C/2022 E3 (friends call it the Green Comet for short).
Which one is she? Unheard of heavenly power. You could trade blue light for green light on your typical evening. It’s connected to history and the galaxy that doesn’t try to sell you anything.
- C/2022 E3 is a comet characterized by a bright green nucleus and a long faint tail.
- It was discovered in March 2022, and is visible through a telescope. On Wednesday night the comet was visible to the naked eye as it passed in the northern hemisphere.
- This is the first time ever (or at least in thousands of years) that a comet has crossed Earth. and you rose to watch!
This is the first attempt to capture the “Green Comet”, Comet c/2022 E3 (ZTF). This was a particular challenge due to the wet conditions and the clouds, but I was absolutely thrilled to be able to capture it! pic.twitter.com/t2VGEnfKX8
— Andrew McCarthy (@AJamesMcCarthy) on January 19, 2023
What’s the big deal? We know very little about C/2022 E3, but it appears to have a long orbit extending from the outer reaches of the solar system toward the sun, according to the Planetary Society.
- It was discovered at the Zwicky Transit Facility on Mount Palomar in California by astronomers Bryce Bolin and Frank Masci.
- Now we’ve got to see it from 26.4 million miles away. This is the closest he will come to Earth on his journey.
- This comet has not been around since the Paleolithic era. You’ll see the same colors in the sky as some long, but never forget the fun of this dude.
What do people say?
“If ever C/2022 E3 has passed through the solar system before, it was seen in the sky about ten years ago.”
– Jon Giorgini, senior analyst at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told NPR
“You can find the comet by looking south of Big Dire, near the constellation Camelopardalis. If you can find the north star, then you can scan directly south of that for it.”
— Bryce Bolin, one of the astronomers who discovered the comet, told Washington Post
So what now? Your best bet to see the comet is between Wednesday and Thursday, February 1-2. The lantern had to be most visible against the night sky, but it could vary depending on where your area was cast.
- Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere began to see comets faint in the morning sky, according to NASA. In the following days, the Southern Hemisphere may have a better chance.
- A comet can eject enough energy from our solar system, or because of another path around the sun, says Giorgini, it can remain bound to its elliptical orbit.
- You can bask in the blue-green glow, and revel in the comfort that even if your taxes don’t file in time, the green comet will still fly there, for many years to come.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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