Rare green comet will make its closest approach to the Earth TOMORROW; Know how to see it | Tech News

Rare green comet will make its closest approach to the Earth TOMORROW; Know how to see it

The rare green comet which entered the inner solar system after 50,000 years will be making its closest approach to the Earth tomorrow, February 1. Find out the best way to see it.

| Updated on: Jan 31 2023, 17:28 IST
Where do comets come from?
NASA green comet ztf
1/6 Most comets come from the Kuiper belt, a region beyond the orbit of Neptune comets from this neighborhood usually take 200 years or less to make one orbit around the sun. These are called short-period comets. (NASA)
NASA green comet ztf
2/6 Comets also come from their other hangout Oort cloud, a far-far-distant cloud, sending some flying into the inner solar system. (Pixabay)
NASA green comet ztf
3/6 When they are at home in the Oort cloud or Kuiper belt comets are just dull, dark chunks of ice, dust, and rock. In this state, they may not be much different from asteroids. (NASA/MSFC/Aaron Kingery)
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4/6 Sometimes the gravitational pull of a planet can disturb comets in the Kuiper Belt and fly one headlong toward the sun. Notably, Jupiter's strong gravity can turn a long-period comet into a short-period one. (NASA)
NASA green comet ztf
5/6 The Sun's gravitational pull takes over, shaping the comet's path into an elliptical orbit. The comet travels faster and faster as it nears the sun swings and goes around close to the backside, then heads back to more or less where it came from. (Pixabay)
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6/6 What makes comets look fuzzy and have tails? As comets get closer to the sun and begin to warm up, some of their materials start to boil off. This material forms a cloud around the nucleus. The cloud is called the coma and may stretch over hundreds of thousands of miles across. (NASA)
NASA green comet ztf
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Don’t miss the rare green comet tomorrow in the night sky. Watch it this way. (NASA/Dan Bartlett)

The world of astronomy has been dominated by the news of the green comet. Also known as Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), this ancient icy comet last came this close to our planet 50,000 years ago. Back then, Neanderthals still roamed the Earth. And that's why you should not let go of this incredibly rare moment and make sure to watch it in the night sky tomorrow, February 1. The best part about this comet is that it will even be visible to the unaided eye. But where should you look in the sky to be able to watch it? And what can you do if you have a cloudy sky or the light pollution in your area is too much? Don't worry. Check below.

The green comet arrives tomorrow

If you plan to watch the comet without any instrument, then you need to know where exactly to look in the sky. We would recommend you use a sky gazing app like StarTracker. First, you need to find the Orion constellation. You can find it in the western sky right after sunset. Once you find it, look towards its left and you should see the Orion constellation. Once found, just look at the opposite of Orion, and you should be able to see the Big Dipper and right above it, the Little Dipper. The green comet should be just in between the two constellations.

But as mentioned above, you will need a clear night sky with relatively low light pollution in order to be able to see it. And if that's not possible, all hope is still not over for you.

So, what can you do? Don't worry. You will not have to miss out on this historic occurrence. The Virtual Telescope Project, an online telescope webcast platform, will be hosting a free livestream of the comet starting 9:30 AM IST on February 2. You can watch the livestream directly on the website by clicking here or on its YouTube channel. For now, you can also visit the page to watch a video of the comet which was recorded on January 14. Do not let go of this unique chance!

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First Published Date: 31 Jan, 17:27 IST