Green comet passing by earth after 50,000 years


A comet is making a return journey to our cosmic neighborhood after an astonishing 50,000 years, NASA reports.
This celestial traveler, last seen during the era of Neanderthals, is set to pass within 26 million miles of Earth before embarking on its extended voyage once more, unlikely to grace our skies again for millions of years.
Despite the ominous title of the film “Don’t Look Up,” skywatchers are encouraged to do just the opposite. This harmless green comet, discovered less than a year ago, is already visible to those equipped with binoculars or small telescopes in the northern night sky. In regions with minimal light pollution, it may even be observable with the naked eye. Its luminosity is expected to increase as it approaches closer to Earth and ascends higher above the horizon, peaking in visibility by the end of January. As an added guide, it will be in close proximity to Mars by February 10.
Unfortunately for those in the Southern Hemisphere, the comet won’t be visible until the following month.
Although numerous comets have graced our skies in recent times, this particular one stands out for its apparent size and brightness, as well as its proximity to Earth’s orbit, according to Paul Chodas, NASA’s expert in tracking comets and asteroids.
The comet’s distinctive green hue is attributed to the carbon-rich gas cloud, or coma, enveloping its nucleus. Discovered in March last year by astronomers at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory using the Zwicky Transient Facility, it bears the official designation C/2022 E3 (ZTF).

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