the Comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF)also known asGreen kiteIt continues to increase its characteristic brightness and this can be seen with the naked eye January and February 2023. Undoubtedly, it is located on about astronomical event The most expected of the month and one of the most important days of the year, as it will be visible both in the countries of the Northern Hemisphere (Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Colombia, etc.) and in the countries of the Southern Hemisphere (Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, etc.).
The icy visitor has reached its closest point to the sun (perihelion) in January 12th. During that trip, the comet risked being imploded by the star’s heat. However, this frozen object seemed to have resisted and continued to increase in brightness. This was confirmed by the Virtual Telescope Project, which did a live broadcast the following night.
Later, Its closest approach to Earth (perihelion) will occur between February 1 and 2when it is located at 42 million km.
When will the comet be seen?
Since the beginning of the year, comet C / 2022 E3 has been photographed with small telescopes and binoculars. However, as it continued to get closer, its brightness would only increase to what it could be Visible to the naked eye in the dark skyie: clear, without light pollution on the surface and free of moonshine.
However, the Container He confirms that the brightness of comets cannot be predicted, because their closeness to the Sun can cause them to break up or make them brighter, as mentioned earlier.
The following dates offer the best chance of observing the comet without the aid of instruments, as according to the observing database (Cobs), the magnitude of its brightness (about 6) can be in the range of what is visible to the naked eye.
- From January 20 to 31, in the northern hemisphere and tropical latitudes (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela). The comet will be much brighter At the end of Januaryso on those dates it will be easier to see with the naked eye, but you have to wait for the moon to hide.
- From 1 to 10 FebruaryAnd In the Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere. The comet will have reached its maximum brightness, but the moon will make it difficult to spot for the first few days. From 6 to 8 FebruaryThe satellite will appear a little later, so that time can be used.
What time to see the comet of the day? Where are you looking?
- in january. 4:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. approximately: Initially you will be located in Northeastbetween the constellations El Boyero and Hercules and in the following days it will move north, passing the constellations Draco and Ursa Minor.
- in feb. From 45 minutes after sunset to 3 hours after: Watch north. At first it will appear near the horizon, in the constellation of the Giraffe (Camelopardalis) and in the following days it will rise to the constellation Auriga.
What is known about comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)?
The comet was discovered on March 2, 2022 By astronomers Bryce Paulin and Frank Massey, using a telescope from the Zwicky Transient Facility Project (ZTF), in the United States. It was the third thing (E 3) identified during the same period. It is also an aperiodic comet. (c), as it last passed 50,000 years ago. By comparison, objects like Halley’s comet (1P/Halley) orbits the sun in periods of only decades.
The celestial body was found during its passage through the orbit of Jupiter, and as it approaches the sun, the ice in its core evaporates, leaving behind a trail of dust and gas. Meanwhile, its carbon content gives a colorful appearance to its head or coma, which is why it became known as “Green kite“.
C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has two possible origins: the Kuiper Belt, a region of celestial bodies orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune; Waved Oort cloudwhich is a layer surrounding the solar system consisting mainly of comets, and is located at such a distance that the Voyager spacecraft will only reach it within 300 years.
Editor’s note: This article was published on January 10 and has since been updated based on new information that has emerged about comet C/2022 E3 and its pass through the inner solar system.
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