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The comet is visible to the naked eye for the first time in thousands of years

At the beginning of the new year, a comet visits Earth. Newly discovered orb with label C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will on January 12th The sun and the earth The first and second of February be closer. The comet may be visible in the night sky for several days.

It is difficult to predict how bright a comet will be. should the brightness C/2022 E3 (ZTF) could continue to increase, as it currently does free eye It can be seen in the night sky. With binoculars or one small telescope At least it should be visible.

What is the best time to see?

You have the best chance of observing the comet According to NASA In the early hours of the morning when looking to the north. The ideal conditions for vision are in new Moon In the 21 straight on Jan 22when the sky is darker.

The comet is moving northwest as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. will become Sun Even 160 million km Approaching. the shortest distance to Land will 42 million km inform.

Perhaps Neanderthals saw the comet

C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is a long-period comet that happens almost every once in a while 50,000 years in our solar system. The last time a comet approached Earth, the so-called just reigned supreme on our planet ice Age.

In this smaller section of Paleolithic It could be some of the first Homo sapiens And some from the past Neanderthals You have already seen the comet. However, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was not discovered until March 2022 by the Zwicky Transit Facility. Palomar Observatory in San Diego, California.

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Path of comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)