A rare event… A green comet is approaching our planet for the first time in 50,000 years
Wednesday – 3 Rajab 1444 AH – January 25, 2023 AD
An image of a comet observed by NASA in December of last year (NASA)
London: «Asharq Al-Awsat»--
A news report stated that a green comet is expected to approach Earth for the first time in 50,000 years.
The British newspaper “The Independent” stated that the comet, named C – 2022 E3 (ZTF), will be the first comet to light up in the night sky since 2020.
The newspaper stated that the appearance of the comet “is not just a once-in-a-lifetime event, it is a once-in-a-lifetime scene, as it was last seen when Neanderthals were still roaming the Earth 50,000 years ago.”
The green comet is expected to pass within 26 million miles of Earth on February 1. However, it is already visible to people in the northern hemisphere with binoculars or telescopes under the right viewing conditions.
Astronomers have been tracking the comet since March last year, when it was first discovered. It is characterized by a blue-green color, and a golden tail.
The comet was first discovered by the Zwicky facility in California, which conducts astronomical surveys with a telescope that was commissioned in 2018. Since then, the comet has been photographed by NASA astronomers.
The comet (E3) got its name for being the third comet discovered in the fifth week of the year.
Astronomers advise anyone hoping to see the comet to choose a dark location devoid of ambient light. Specialized smartphone apps and websites can also be used to determine the comet’s position in the sky, such as Star Chart, Sky Safari and Skyview.
The comet tracking website pointed out that “comets are highly unpredictable objects, because their brightness depends on the scattering of sunlight on the comet’s body and tail.”