Home Science The ‘Green Comet’ Skychart You Need To See It This Weekend Beside A Really Bright Star

The ‘Green Comet’ Skychart You Need To See It This Weekend Beside A Really Bright Star

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An hour or two after sunset on Sunday, February 5, 2023, go outside, spot a particular bright star, and use your binoculars to look around.

that’s how you see Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)— perhaps the ‘comet of the year’ — now visible from the northern hemisphere after dark. It looks like empty dirt. It’s not green to the human eye as the social media images show.

At closest approach between Wednesday 1 February 2023 and Thursday 2 February 2023, the distance will be approximately 93 million miles/150 million kilometers.

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Unfortunately, Waxing moon is almost full and get Too bright to confuse comet observers.

That extra light pollution doesn’t help, but it’s not the easiest thing to spot in the night sky anyway.

But this weekend, the comet will approach the “golden star” Capella. This star is the brightest in the constellation Auriga (“The Charioteer”) and her sixth brightest in the night sky.

It looks like this (albeit slightly diluted):

Capella means “kid” in Latin. The Goat Star also has two smaller stars, The Kids, nearby, and Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) also appears to approach this star.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is not easily visible to the naked eye, so you’ll need binoculars or a small telescope to scan around Capella.

But because Capella is so bright, this is a great opportunity to look straight at the comet.

Here’s how to do it this weekend.

How to Find the ‘Golden Star’ Capella

Capella rises a few hours after sunset. Look due east and go straight to the zenith, well above the moon. just below Mars. Like many bright stars in our night sky, Capella is actually her two stars, Capella A and Capella B, both yellow giants, but only one point of light is visible. . They are 43 light years away from us.

Saturday, February 4, 2023 C/2022 E3 (ZTF) How to see the comet

Tonight, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) can be seen approaching the constellation Auriga, especially Capella.

February 5, 2023 (Sun) C/2022 E3 (ZTF) How to see the comet

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will be in the same field of view as Capella in binoculars tonight. This is also the night when the full moon rises. Light pollution from the Moon makes it difficult to spot a large touch, but its proximity to Capella makes it a great opportunity to see Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF).

Monday, February 6, 2023 C/2022 E3 (ZTF) How to see the comet

Looking at Capella tonight, we can see that Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has disappeared. It is now beside another bright star, the star Sacrateni, near Haedus. (known as “Kids”). We recommend finding both together to make sure you have the correct star.

How to see the “green comet” with binoculars

You will need binoculars or a small telescope. Magnitude 5 is theoretically visible to the unaided eye from a truly dark sky, but the bright Moon has other ideas.

The easiest way is to use binoculars. 7×42 or 10×50 binoculars are best (or somewhere in between).

I wish you clear skies and wide eyes.

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