Green comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is expected to make its closest approach to Earth on February 1st, 2023, and is causing excitement among astronomers and sky-gazers alike. This rare green comet, named for the presence of diatomic carbon which reflects green light, is expected to be visible from Earth with the naked eye.
Astronomers are eagerly anticipating the close approach of C/2022 E3 (ZTF), as it provides a unique opportunity to study a well-preserved primitive body from the early solar system. Scientists hope to gain new insights into the formation of our solar system and the evolution of comets by studying the green comet up close.
Green Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) last passed through our inner solar system around 50,000 years ago. It is said to be the brightest during this time and may also be visible to the naked eye, if watched under the right conditions. Astronomers have also said that this comet will be visible for multiple days as it will be approaching the planet and then receding to the outer solar system.
During the perigee of this Green Comet, it will be at a distance of about 26 million miles (42 million kilometers) from Earth.
C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is said to be circumpolar, meaning that it is permanently above horizon and thus will be visible for most of the night.
You can see the comet in Camelopardalis constellation while it is at perigee. It will be visible around 6:49 p.m EST (23:49 GMT) on Wednesday, at which time it will be 49 degrees over the northern horizon. It will then climb to its highest point in the sky, around 58 degrees over the northern horizon by around 9:46 p.m EST (01:46 GMT). Following this trajectory, it is said to disappear by dawn at around 5:57 a.m EST (10:57 GMT) on 2nd February.
The easiest time to spot the Green Comet may be on Sunday (5th February) when it will be in the Auriga constellation next to the bright star Capella. You can also spot it between 9th February and 13th February when it will be in the Taurus constellation near Mars.