There will be a return of a comet that was last seen in the sky when Neanderthals roamed the world.
The C/2022 E3 (ZTF) comet, which can be seen with the unaided eye and orbits the sun once every 50,000 years, will be 26 million miles from Earth on February 2. When the skies are clear, telescopes can see it right away.
When Was The Last New Comet Discovered?
When it was in Jupiter’s orbit in March of last year, this new comet was found. By January 12th, the comet’s current track can put it closest to the sun. NASA estimates that on February 2nd, it will be approximately 26.4 million miles (42.5 million kilometres) from Earth at its closest point.
In January, the comet should be visible in the Northern Hemisphere’s early morning skies. It will move toward the northwest and pass between the Little and Big Dippers before the month’s end. According to Newsweek, in the best-case scenario, Earthlings may be able to see the comet with the naked eye by the second part of January. The comet won’t likely be visible to those in the southern hemisphere until early February. However, comets are frequently unpredictable, so we’ll have to wait and see if it continues on its current path.
The pace at which the ice in the comet’s nucleus sublimates as a result of being heated by the sun’s rays determines the density of this dust, which is constantly streaming away from the comet’s nucleus. It also depends on how much dust is incorporated into the ice. This is extremely challenging to forecast in advance and can vary greatly even across apparitions of the same comet.