Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is making its closest pass near Earth, and you can watch it pass free without even stepping outside.
On Wednesday (February 1), the comet will reach its closest point to Earth, known as perihelion. Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) hasn’t been this close in 50,000 years, and according to some predictions, it may never be seen again. That makes this week’s closing pass all the more important, as it may be our last chance to witness this.”Messenger from the far reaches of our solar system.”
While many skywatchers will brave cold January nights this week to catch a glimpse of Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), not everyone will have the right conditions, equipment, or availability to see it. Fortunately, the Virtual Telescope Project is hosting a free live webcast of Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) at Perihelion Courtesy of The project Location or YouTube channel. Live broadcast begins Wednesday (February 1) starting at 11:00 PM EST (0400 GMT on February 2).
Be sure to experience and view the comet while it remains in the night sky, as this could be the last look at C/2022 E3 (ZTF) before it leaves our solar system. said Geza Gyuk, an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago in the current situation that for comets like C/2022 E3 (ZTF) with highly elliptical orbits that they swing into the outer regions of the solar system, “it’s very easy for them to perturb their orbit causing them to leave the solar system entirely.”
When Wednesday (February 1) approaches, the comet will be in the constellation Camelopardalis in the northern sky. While at perihelion, the comet will be within 26 million miles (42 million kilometers) of Earth, which is roughly 28% of the distance between the Sun and Earth.
The comet should remain visible throughout the month and may be visible to the naked eye as a faint green glow in dark sky locations, but it will almost certainly be visible through binoculars or a telescope.
If you want to see comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) up close or try taking your own photos, be sure to check out our guides at The best telescopes And best binoculars can help. Also don’t forget to check out our guides on How to view and photograph cometsAnd so do we The best cameras for astrophotography And The best lenses for astrophotography To start.
Just remember: the stunning images of the comet featuring bright colors and a clearly defined tail were taken with professional-grade equipment and usually stitched together from several long exposures. I caught the comet myself on Friday (January 27) with a pair of 25x magnification binoculars mounted on a tripod, and it appeared as a small, fuzzy green spot just above Ursa Major. However, any view of one of these distant messengers is worth it, whether online or in the night sky.
Clear skies and happy comet hunting!
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