A green comet will cross the night sky on the last nights of January and the first nights of February. Discover in March 2022, Scientifically named comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) It is a long-range traveler, whose elongated orbit describes an elliptical shape that extends into the Oort Cloud, the region that marks the boundaries of the solar system, where it wandered in complete darkness for thousands of years, before gravity propelled its flight. Journey back to the worlds closest to the sun.
Comets’ trajectory into the inner solar system involves leaving the icy darkness of our cosmic neighborhood and warming as they approach the sun. Heat then rises from the surface ice and forms a cloud that envelops the core (coma). And above all, a characteristic tail that grows in the opposite direction from the sun and can extend for tens of millions of kilometers.
The comma and the distinctive tail of comets have been a key factor in identifying them since ancient civilizations linked their dramatic appearance in the celestial vault with dire omens that warned of the coming of wars, droughts or famines. However, the ZTF comet’s long stride goes back to a stage before Homo sapiens even expanded on Earth: about 50,000 years ago, when a green comet loomed over the hot, rocky realms of the Sun’s inner planets. order for the last time, Neanderthals They were the dominant human type in Europe. Hence, the passage of C/2022 E3 is a one-off event on a human scale.
When is the ZTF comet seen in Mexico?
On January 12, C/2022 E3 ZTF reached its closest point in its orbit to the Sun (perihelion). Since then, the distance between the comet and Earth has decreased day by day until it reached its closest point (perihelion) on February 1, when the distance between them was only 42 million kilometers, just over a hundred times the Earth’s average. The Moon (and a quarter of the distance between the Sun and our planet).
The best time to see the green comet is from the weekend of January 28th and 29th through the night of February 2nd, when it will begin to move once and for all toward the outskirts of the solar system.
How do you see comet ZTF and when?
On February 1, Comet C/2022 C3 will be visible to the naked eye in rural areas far from large cities and will therefore be free of light pollution. To find it in the celestial vault, you just need to look north and locate the Pole Star, the brightest Ursa Minor. Use an augmented reality app like Sky Safari It is useful to locate astronomical objects in real time through the camera.
Comet ZTF is visible all night from the Northern Hemisphere and during the last days of January appears to orbit Polaris in an east-west direction. On the night of its closest approach, on February 1, the comet will appear directly above the North Star between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., an ideal time to look at it with binoculars or a telescope and catch its latest pass. across the planet in more detail. terrestrial night sky
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