Something is approaching us from the outer solar system: Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is hurtling past Earth and, with a bit of luck, will soon be visible to the naked eye.
Slightly late in showing the way to the Three Wise Men from the east, a comet plummets toward the earthly sky. And to put the shade on the wall in the right light at this point: No, the fate of the dinosaurs isn’t prospering for humanity — at least not from C/2022 E3 (ZTF).
The last time in primitive times
How do forschung-und-wissen.de reported, that a telescope at the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) recorded on March 2, 2022 that Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was approaching Earth from the outer reaches of our solar system. At the time of its discovery, the comet was about 400 million miles from Earth and was passing the orbit of Jupiter. to me space.com This is not the first time a comet has penetrated our solar system. Calculations of its orbit showed that C / 2022 E3 (ZTF) was last seen 50,000 years ago – at the time of mammoths and Neanderthals.
When is the best time to see C/2022 E3 (ZTF)?
Currently the comet can be noisy forschung-und-wissen.de Because of their small distance from Earth, they can already be observed well with smaller telescopes. It is distinguished by its glowing greenish head, yellowish dust tail and weak ionic tail.
As it moves through the constellations of Crowned Crown, Bear Guardian, Dragon, and Bear Minor, January’s brightness increases sharply. information from wetter.de According to C / 2022 E3 (ZTF) it is currently still in the constellation Northern Crown and will move to the Bear-Bearer constellation by January 14, then from January 26 it will pass the Little Dipper.
According to information from the Star Friends Association, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will reach its maximum brightness in early February. As JPL said in a statement, comets are “remarkably unpredictable,” but if they continue “in their current direction in brightness,” with a bit of luck and under dark skies, you might even be able to see them through with the naked eye. They help with that Find Friends Star Cards.
For naked eye observation, the night from January 31st to February 1st at 4 am is likely to be the best time, such NDR mentioned. After that, the green comet’s visibility decreases again and it can only be seen with a telescope. Around February 10 and 11, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will pass Mars and then reappear in good conditions.
What is the culprit
Comets, like asteroids, are leftovers from the formation of the solar system and consist of ice, dust, and loose rock. They are among the small bodies that orbit our sun. Due to their low mass, they – unlike planets – do not take a spherical shape. In addition to loose rock, comets also consist of frozen gases and water. In the sun’s vicinity, these gases escape, dragging dust particles with them. It can develop a tail of several 100 million kilometers.
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