May 12, 2024

Rare celestial event: Comet visible from Earth for first time in 50,000 years

A newly discovered comet that is set to pass Earth in the coming weeks could be visible to the naked eye, according to astronomers. The comet, called C/2022 E3 (ZTF) after the Zwicky Transient Facility which first spotted it passing Jupiter in March last year, is made up of ice and dust and is emitting a greenish aura. It is estimated to have a diameter of around a kilometre and is set to come closest to the Sun on 12 January before passing nearest to Earth on 1 February. It will be visible with a good pair of binoculars and potentially even with the naked eye, provided the sky is not too illuminated by city lights or the Moon. The comet is expected to be at its brightest when it is closest to Earth.

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