In our night sky, a comet is flying close to Earth for the first time in 50,000 years.
Steve Coleopy of the South Cariboo Astronomy Club offers some tips on how to see it before it disappears.
The green comet, dubbed C/2022 E3 (ZTF), is not easily visible to the naked eye, but in very dark skies it may be visible to those with good eyesight, he said. I was. The only problem is that it’s getting harder to see by the day.
“Right now, the comet is closest to Earth and is rapidly moving away,” he said.
At the moment, the comet is located between the Big Dipper’s bowl and the North Star, but over the next few weeks it will move toward the planet Mars, a steady orange spot of light in the night sky. Choreopy.
“I’ve found it’s best to see the comet after 3:30 a.m. after the moon has set,” he said. “You can still see it with binoculars when the moon is still high, but the moonlight makes it more blurry.”
He noted that the comet looks like a “big blurry green ball” in contrast to the star’s bright, pinpoint light.
“There isn’t much of a tail, but if you can look through the binoculars for a short period of time, long enough for your eyes to adjust to the image, it’s quite spectacular,” he added.
For a more precise location on a particular evening, an internet search will bring up pictures and photos of comets along with the date of when and where the comet will be in each day’s location.
Coleopy says the comet will only be visible for a few more weeks, after which it won’t return for about 50,000 years.
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