OAN Shannon Kelland
UPDATED 3:47 PM PT – Wednesday, January 11, 2023
A rare, green comet is expected to pass by Earth this week for the first time in 50,000 years and will be visible for nearly a month.
The last humans to ever witness it are reportedly likely from the Ice Age-era.
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) can be distinguished by its green glow was discovered last March during its position inside Jupiter orbit. It was discovered using the Zwicky Transient Facility’s wide-field survey camera at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California.
The comet’s closest approach to the Sun will be on January 12th, at this time it will be visible to stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere. It should be visible for the Southern Hemisphere in February.
Observers will be able to spot it near the North Star, and it should be visible earlier in the evening. In the upcoming weeks, ZTF may even become visible to the naked eye in night skies near the end of January.
“Comets are notoriously unpredictable, but if this one continues its current trend in brightness, it’ll be easy to spot with binoculars, and it’s just possible it could become visible to the unaided eye under dark skies,” according to NASA.
The comet differs from stars via its vibrant green coma, short and broad streaking tail.
ZTF will be closest to Earth between February 1st and February 2nd. At his period of time, the comet will be 26 million miles away from Earth
The comet will proceed to be close to Mars roughly a week after.