After a last visit that would have occurred in the Neanderthal era, c/2022 E3 (ZTF) is “returning” and has seen the skies for the past few days. On the night of February 1st to February 2nd, the comet “green hair” had its peakas it is at its closest point to Earth.
The moment was a irresistible opportunity for those who are passionate about the night sky, specifically for those who want to capture the moment for posteritywith their camera lenses – and good luck to everyone else who likes to see the result.
c/2022 E3 has been visible for several days, with many astrophotographers documenting its passage, as did the Portuguese Miguel Claro.
Check out some of the Comet c/2022 E3 images already captured
Miguel Claro recorded the celestial body’s visit from the Alqueva Dark Sky Observatory, in Portugal and in addition to the images, he also shared a video.
oc/2022 E3 was discovered in March 2022 by the “Zwicky Transient Facility” (ZTF) programwhich operates the Samuel-Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California.
With a diameter of just one kilometer, the comet whose main attraction is the green tuna it came from the Oort cloud, the large concentration of comets believed to exist at the edge of the solar system, located at a distance of 100,000 AU (average distance between Earth and the Sun). The Oort Cloud is also a quarter of the distance from Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun.
The w/2022 E3 it had reached its closest point to the Sun on January 12when the ice in its core turned to a gaseous state and released a long tail that reflects the star’s light.
Despite its closest approach to Earth from Wednesday to Thursday, the comet will continue to be visible for a few more days, but more “at a distance”. After the blue planet, the red planet follows and the celestial body is expected to make its closest approach to Mars on February 10.