Pic of the Week: The Green Comet

Image (Credit): Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF). (NASA and Dan Bartlett)

The so-called Green Comet that is garnering much attention in the media is captured in this image from last year. The comet was first discovered early last year.

Here is the full story from NASA:

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was discovered by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at the Zwicky Transient Facility this year in early March. Since then the new long-period comet has brightened substantially and is now sweeping across the northern constellation Corona Borealis in predawn skies. It’s still too dim to see without a telescope though. But this fine telescopic image from December 19 does show the comet’s brighter greenish coma, short broad dust tail, and long faint ion tail stretching across a 2.5 degree wide field-of-view. On a voyage through the inner Solar System comet 2022 E3 will be at perihelion, its closest to the Sun, in the new year on January 12 and at perigee, its closest to our fair planet, on February 1. The brightness of comets is notoriously unpredictable, but by then C/2022 E3 (ZTF) could become only just visible to the eye in dark night skies.

If you grab your binoculars, you can still see the comet over the next week by looking south. Check out the graphic below from EarthSky.org if you need a sky map to find it.

Credit: EarthSky.org