It is visible every 50,000 years: how to observe comet ZTF from this weekend

This Saturday, January 21, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) should be visible in the sky. It could even be observable with the naked eye.

She had approached the sun this Thursday, January 12. It is now closer and closer to Earth. Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will be visible in the sky this Saturday evening.

This is a first since the Paleolithic, or 50,000 years, reports Sciences et Avenir. This is the time it takes to go around the sun. It will be closest to our planet on February 1, at 42 million kilometers.

One kilometer diameter

The comet was identified by the Palomar Astronomical Observatory in California in March 2022. It is a small celestial body made of ice, with a diameter of about 1 km.

To see her during the nights to come, it will take a little luck. If it is bright enough it will be possible to see it with the naked eye. “We can have a good surprise and see an object twice as bright as expected,” hopes astrophysicist Nicolas Biver, quoted by La Voix du Nord.

On the other hand, it will be necessary to move away as much as possible from light sources such as cities and wait until the Moon is very dark.

“Near Ursa Major and Ursa Minor”

“You will have to look at a clear sky to the north near the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper. The best thing is to be guided by someone who knows a little about it and who has a telescope,” says Eric Lagadec. , quoted by Sciences et avenir.

As the new moon is scheduled for this Saturday, next night could be the best to observe this comet. It is advisable to try to watch it during the last hours of the night. You may also have a chance to see it during the coming week.

Enjoy it, its next passage is expected in 50,000 years. Unless she’s kicked out of the solar system by then.

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