February 4, 2023

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The comet is seen with the naked eye for the first time since the Neanderthals

The comet is seen with the naked eye for the first time since the Neanderthals

A newly discovered comet hurtles past our starry sky at the end of this month. For the first time since the Neanderthal era, we will be able to observe this space bullet with the naked eye. Do you write it down on the agenda?

The comet, called C/2022 E3 (ZTF), is currently passing through the inner solar system. It will be closest to the Sun on January 12th and then closest to Earth between February 1st and 2nd.

If the comet remained as bright as it is now, it could be visible to the naked eye in a dark sky. This is difficult to predict for comets, but even if C/2022 E3 (ZTF) fades away, it will still be observable with binoculars or a telescope for several more days.

Comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF)

Comets are notoriously unpredictable, but if C/2022 E3 (ZTF) continues its current trend in brightness, space debris will According to NASA It can be easily seen with binoculars. It is very likely that the Earth visitor would also be visible to the naked eye in a dark starry sky.

Observers in our Northern Hemisphere will find the comet in the morning sky as it moves rapidly to the northwest in January. In the Southern Hemisphere, it becomes visible in early February. C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will be best seen in the Netherlands and Belgium around January 28th.

He did not expect such a scene Newways It’s 2020. But it’s still a great opportunity to make a personal connection with an icy visitor from the far outer solar system.

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The comet is about 50,000 years old. The last time it came close to Earth was during the Paleolithic period. This means that the last humans to observe C/2022 E3 (ZTF) were among the first Homo sapiens to live during the last ice age. Just like the last Neanderthals, because this species went extinct about 10,000 years after the last appearance of C/2022 E3 (ZTF).

Comet, visible to the naked eye
Orbital path of planet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) (Image: NASA)

Of course, Neanderthals and our early ancestors didn’t know what C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was. The comet was not identified until March 2022 by Zwicky Transit Facility, a state-of-the-art observatory in California. check sky.observe.com The more detailed information about how, where and when you can see the comet the better.

C/2022 E3 (ZTF) may be very close to Earth in terms of space distances, but we’re not in danger yet. Anyway, NASA wants It can be saved without any problems. But check this out just to be sure Ten films in which our planet is dying.

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The comet is seen with the naked eye for the first time since the Neanderthals