Rare Green Comet To Make Closest Approach To Earth This Week

Comets are cosmic snowballs made of frozen gas

A rare green comet is to make its closest pass to Earth. The comet named C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will be visible this week to people in the southern hemisphere if the sky is clear. The comet returns to us after almost 50,000 years.

According to NASA, the comet visited Earth during the Neanderthal era. It will come within 26 million miles (42 million kilometers) of Earth on Wednesday before moving away again, and is unlikely to return for millions of years.

The comet was first spotted in March last year by astronomers using the wide-field surveillance camera at the Zwicky Transient Facility. It was then in Jupiter’s orbit and has since become brighter.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration says the Neanderthal Comet will move northwest on the horizon throughout January and make its closest pass to Earth between February 1 and February 2. .

“Comets are notoriously unpredictable, but if this one continues its current trend in brightness, it will be easy to spot with binoculars, and it’s just possible it will become visible to the naked eye under dark skies. “, NASA wrote in its “What’s Blog Up”.

Comets are cosmic snowballs of frozen gas, rocks and dust that orbit the Sun. Although these celestial bodies are small when frozen, they heat up as they approach the Sun and release gases and dust in a large glowing head, which is larger than most planets.

According to Space.com, the comet’s orbital period has been determined to be around 50,000 years. This means it will make its first approach to Earth in 50,000 years next month.

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