Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The New “Green” Comet

 From the Farmers' Almanac:

Newly-discovered Comet ZTF is coming the closest to the Earth in 50,000 years, becoming visible to the naked eye, and making big headlines. Some are calling it a “super rare” and “bright green” comet, but will it live up to the hype? We explain. Comet ZTF was discovered on March 2, 2022 by a robotic camera attached to a telescope known as Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) at the Palomar Observatory in Southern California. ZTF scans the entire northern sky every two days and captures hundreds of thousands of stars and galaxies in a single shot. Many comets have been found with this instrument. The most recent is catalogued as C/2022 E3 (ZTF), Comet ZTF for short. Comet ZTF has travelled a distance of 2.8 trillion miles and will make its closest approach to the Earth in 50,000 years on February 1, 2023. Orbital computations suggest that Comet ZTF may never return again. (Read more.)


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