Comet C2022 E3 (ZTF), best way to Observe
In the coming weeks, a comet called C2022 E3 (ZTF) will approach Earth. It may also be visible to the naked eye. It only appears every 50,000 years or so and may be visible in the night sky for days to come. According to the German Aerospace Center (DLR), comet C2022 E3 (ZTF) is about 1 km in size, but currently has a coma about 50,000 km long, which is a sort of particle envelope. This happens as the comet approaches the sun and heats up, causing the particles to break free of the ice and migrate towards the tail.
According to the Society of Friends of the Stars, it will approach Earth about 42 million kilometers in early February. That’s approximately one-third the distance from Earth to the Sun. The comet’s maximum brightness is so great, under skies so dark, that you might even be able to see it – if you know exactly where it is. However, the head of Sternfreunde, Sven Melchert, assumes that you will not see it in the sky without a telescope or binoculars and without the necessary experience.
What is the Best time to See a Comet?
“It’s an object first in the morning sky, then it’s high in the sky near the Pole Star all night, and it says goodbye to the night sky in early March,” say stellar friends. It has already reached its closest point to the Sun in mid-January and will approach Earth on February 1st.
Good observation periods – if the weather cooperates – are the last days of January and the second half of February, when the moonlight darkens the sky. Because on January 21st and February 20th there is a new moon. The European Space Agency (ESA) postulates a comet that is inconspicuous but observable with modest instruments.
Recently, comets C/2021 A1 Leonard and C/2020 F3 Neowise passed by Earth. Celestial body C2022 E3 (ZTF) got its name because it was first spotted last year by a program called the Zwicky Transient Facility at an observatory in the United States.