The green comet is already among us! During last night we had the opportunity to contemplate in several areas of the northern hemisphere the comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), which passed “grazing” our planet at almost 42 million kilometers from our atmosphere, allowing us to see with our own eyes its particular green halo.
The comet is one of thousands of atmospheric objects that are close to Earth, and it has not been seen by our planet for 50,000 years. According to its discoverer, astronomer Bryce Bolin, the comet (not an asteroid) will remain visible to parts of the northern hemisphere until mid-February, after which it will be visible to people living near the Earth’s equator.
If you missed it, here are some photos of the millennial visit of this particular celestial body, created by photographers Richard Mitchell, James MacWilliam and Liron Gertsman. Quite a spectacle for the eyes.
How can I see the comet, and do I have to worry about the brightness?
February 1 was the day when the comet was at its closest point to the Earth. This made it possible for it to be visible in many areas of the northern hemisphere, even with the naked eye. The comet remains visible in this hemisphere until the middle of the month, although it will be seen in fewer and fewer areas as it moves south.
As for the brightness given off by the comet, there is no need to worry. NASA has reported that the star can be observed with the naked eye without the use of other devices. When we have chosen a spot to see the comet, it is advisable to wait for half an hour for our eyes to adapt to the light.
To get the best possible view of the comet, you will first need binoculars or a small telescope. If you are in an area where the celestial body is still visible, you should keep in mind that the best time to see it is at dusk. The comet leaves behind it an unmistakable green halo, which will help you to identify it easily.