Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF can be seen with the naked eye from January 30 to February 5
Julieta Fierro Gossman, a researcher at the Institute of Astronomy of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) explained that the comet looks like a fluffy ball moving through the Universe, unlike the stars that are always in the same places forming constellations.
“They are discovered even though they are very far away because they move with respect to the stars, and this time we will be able to see them with the naked eye in very dark places,” explained the scientific disseminator.
Julieta Fierro Gossman clarified that although the object will increase in brightness remarkably as it approaches the Sun, due to its position it will not be possible to observe the classic tail or tail, so people must pay attention to see it as a shiny ball.
According to the researcher from the Maximum House of Studies in Mexico, the best day to see it will be February 2 when it is closest to Earth, however, and due to the fact that the city lights make it impossible to see it, Fierro Gossman suggested find a place away from these.
The best places to see the comet
The green comet passes every thousand years (REUTERS)
Although it will be visible to everyone, a better visibility of the green comet is subject to atmospheric conditions, as well as the tools that the person has, so these would be the best places in Mexico to spot the C/2022 E3 ZTF in a better way.
– San Pedro Mártir National Park: this is located in the state of Baja California and has an ideal climate thanks to its location, since it has the National Astronomical Observatory of the UNAM.
– Xochicalco : the mountainous place located in Morelos is far from light pollution, which will allow a more than clear visualization of the comet.
– Pico de Orizaba National Park: in this place located in Puebla, is the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics.
The best hours to see the legendary comet
The comet can be seen in Mexico (Steward Observatory)
Despite the fact that the comet will begin to move away from this Thursday, experts indicated that the best time to appreciate it in the Mexican sky will be between the early morning of February 1 and February 2, when its closest point to earth occurs . .
To be more precise, around 4:00 and 5:00 in the morning if the weather conditions are favourable. For a better appreciation of this historic moment, a telescope should be used, although it can also be observed with the naked eye.
However, it must be taken into account that light pollution, especially in cities, will also affect the observation.
Until when to see the green comet
Green Kite (Freepick)
Despite the fact that its presence near the earth began a few days ago —after its closest passage to the Sun— the green comet will begin to move away from the earth starting next Thursday, February 2. However, it can be seen until a few days later, when its halo disappears from the sky.
However, in its path, inhabitants of the entire Mexican Republic will be able to see the comet, especially if weather conditions allow it. It should be noted that the chances of sighting increase in places far from cities, as well as areas with little cloud cover.
The best night to observe the comet
The closest point of the comet to Earth will be more than 42 million kilometers (Reuters)
The night of this Tuesday, January 31, is the best to see comet C/2022 E3 ZTF, which passes close to Earth every 50,000 years. After its closest point to the Sun on January 12, the comet’s orbit rapidly approached the system’s third planet alone.
Despite the fact that it could be seen since last Monday, the moment in which it will be closest to Earth will be during the early hours of Wednesday, February 1, and the best thing is that it can be enjoyed with the naked eye, although the use of telescopes for better sharpness.
Worldwide, the comet could be seen in different regions from January 12 (perihelion), and from last weekend to February 2 will be the best days to enjoy the star.
How to find him in the sky
The comet can be seen in Mexico until February 5 (Dan Bartlett/REUTERS)
This is one of the most anticipated stellar sightings since the comet was first discovered nearly a year ago. It can be seen thanks to its intense green glow, which is caused by the melting of the ice in its core as it approaches the sun. This caused it to release a tail of gases and dust, which is visible to the naked eye.
To locate it in the Mexican sky, between 7:30 p.m. this Tuesday, January 31, and until 6:00 a.m. next Wednesday, February 1, it must be observed to the north-northeast, as it will pass near the constellation Ursa Minor; that is, on the horizon, in a northerly direction. To find it, it is enough to identify the brightest star, the Pole star.
It will be at the beginning of February that the comet will cross the constellation Camelopardalis, also known as the giraffe, while it will continue on its way until it reaches the constellation Auriga, which is visible above Orion.
The so-called “green comet” can be seen in Mexican territory from January 30 to February 5.
It was first seen by astronomers near the orbit of Jupiter in March 2022, from where it has been getting closer every day. Its closest point to Earth will be on February 1, since it will be 42 million kilometers away; that is, a quarter of the distance between Earth and the Sun, or ten times the gap between Earth and its moon.
Where does the green comet come from?
It was discovered in March 2022 by NASA astronomers (Reuters)
Comet C2022 E3 ZTF was first seen through a Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF ) project telescope by scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA ).
The initial sighting was given on March 2, 2022 by astronomers Bryce Bolin and Frank Masci. It was the third object identified during that day and classified as a non-periodic comet (marked with the letter C), since its passage through the earth takes about 50,000 years.
It is from these conditions that it got its name: C2022 E3 ZTF. According to NASA, the comet comes from the Oort cloud, at the outer edge of the solar system.
The researchers responsible for their discovery announced that at the beginning of November 2022, the comet’s orbit was close to that of the earth, while after calculating its path through the solar system, they revealed that the last time it crossed with planet Earth was at the end of the last ice age, when homo sapiens began to inhabit the globe.