The Green Comet: What Is It and What To Expect During It's Encounter With Earth

What Is a Comet?

Comets have a solid core made of rock, ice, and dust. They are then surrounded by a thin, gassy atmosphere that is more ice, dust, and ice. As they approach the sun, they melt and release a stream gas and dust that is blown from their surface and plasma. This creates a cloudy and forward-facing tail.

What is "The Green Comet"

C/2022 E3 (ZTF), this particular comet was discovered in March 2022 by astronomers at the Zwicky Transient Facility, California. It has been nicknamed "the green comet" because of its verdant glow, and is thought to have come from the Oort cloud - a collection of icy bodies

Why The Comet Is Green?

This phenomenon is believed to be caused by the interaction of light from the sun with diatomic carbon. Diatomic carbon emits light when it is excited by ultraviolet radiations. This creates the green coma seen around the nucleus. 

C/2022 E3 (ZTF) orbits the sun every 50,000 years. It was visible for the last time during the stone age. If you miss it, you will unlikely to have another chance. 

Where Should You Be Looking?

You are best to go out on Wednesday, 1st Feb night, away from bright lights and cities at night, to a dark place. Look for a smear of the sky.

Can I See The Comet With  Naked Eyes?

Reports suggest that C/2022 E3(ZTF) was spotted by observers who were not equipped with the appropriate equipment after the moon set . It is expected to remain visible to stargazers until it approaches Earth on Wednesday and Thursday. At that point, it will be 0.28AU (26,000,000 miles) away.

NASA's Take On Green Comet

According to NASA, the Neanderthal Comet (NASA) will be moving to the northwest during January. It will then approach Earth between February 1 and 2. NASA's "What’s Up” blog states that comets can be unpredictable. However, if the current brightness trend continues, it should be easy to see through binoculars.