The Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)Also known as “green kite”, continuously increases its characteristic brightness and can be observed with the naked eye January and February 2023. Undoubtedly, about it The most anticipated astronomical event of the month And one of the most important of the year, because it is visible both in the Northern Hemisphere (Mexico, Spain, Central America, Venezuela, etc.), Ecuador and in the Southern Hemisphere (Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, etc.). )
The icy observer reached its closest point to the Sun (perihelion). On January 12th. During that trip, the comet was in danger of collapsing due to the star’s heat. However, this icy body resisted and seemed to continue to increase in brightness. This was confirmed by the Virtual Telescope Project, which broadcast live the following night.
then, Closest approach to Earth (perigee) occurs between February 1 and 2While located 42 million kilometers away.
When will the comet be visible?
Since the beginning of the year, comet C/2022 E3 has been imaged with small telescopes Telescopes. However, as it continues to get closer, its brightness will increase to what it can be Visible to the naked eye in a dark skyThat is: clear, without surface light pollution and without moonshine.
However, the Pot Emphasizes that the brightness of comets is unpredictable, as their approach to the Sun causes them to fragment or become even brighter as mentioned above.
The following dates offer the best opportunity to observe the comet without the aid of instruments, because, according to the observational database (cobs), its brightness (about 6) may be in the range visible to the naked eye.
- From 20th to 31st January, in the Northern Hemisphere and equatorial latitudes (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela). The comet will be bright At the end of JanuarySo on those dates it is easy to see with the naked eye, but you have to wait for the moon to set.
- From 1st to 10th February, In Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere. The comet will have reached its maximum brightness, but the moon will be hard to see for the first few days. February 6 to 8The satellite appears after a while, so time can be used.
What time to see the comet from today? Where to look?
- In January. Around 4:00 am to 5:30 am: You will be here first NortheastBetween the constellations Boero and Hercules and over the next few days it will move north, passing the constellations Draco and Ursa Minor.
- In February. 45 minutes to 3 hours after sunset: see Northward. Initially it appears near the horizon, in the constellation of the Giraffe (Camelopartalis), and in the following days it rises to the constellation of Auriga.
What is known about Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)?
The comet was discovered by astronomers on March 2, 2022. Bryce Bolin Y Frank MaskeyA telescope from the Zwicky Transient Facility project (ZTF), in America. It was the third object (E3) identified in the same period. It is also a comet without a period. (C), which passed 50,000 years ago. In comparison, things like Halley’s comet (1P/Halley) orbits the Sun in periods lasting only decades.
The celestial body was discovered as it passed Jupiter’s orbit, and as it approached the Sun, the ice at its core evaporated, leaving behind a trail of dust and gas. Meanwhile, its carbon content gives its head or coma a colorful appearance, which is why it came to be known as “green kite”.
C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has one of two possible origins: the Kuiper Belt, a region of celestial bodies orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune; wave Cloud of OortA layer around the solar system is made up mainly of comets and is farthest away. Voyager ships In just 300 years.
Editor’s note: This article was published on January 10 and has been updated based on new information about Comet C/2022 E3 and its passage through the inner Solar System.