Awesome Green Comet ZTF snapped! How to watch it live, when and what it is | Tech News

Awesome Green Comet ZTF snapped! How to watch it live, when and what it is

A rare green comet called C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was snapped in Abu Dhabi a couple of days ago. Know what this comet is and how you can see it live.

| Updated on: Jan 18 2023, 11:34 IST
Are near-Earth objects DANGEROUS? Know what NASA says about scary comets, asteroids
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)
1/5 Earth has objects near it, which sometimes get attracted towards the planet because of its gravitational pull. Of course, not every near-Earth object manages to reach the surface of the planet. The object needs to be large enough to survive its fiery journey through the atmosphere of the Earth. (Pixabay)
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2/5 What is a near-Earth object? Asteroids or comets that can pass within 30 million miles or 50 million kilometers of Earth's orbit are known as near-Earth objects or NEO. According to NASA, "A near-Earth object (NEO) is an asteroid or comet whose orbit brings it within a zone approximately 121 million miles (195 million kilometers) from the Sun, meaning that it can pass within about 30 million miles (50 million kilometers) of Earth’s orbit." (Pixabay)
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)
3/5 NASA further informed that the vast majority of NEOs that enter Earth’s atmosphere disintegrate before reaching the surface (and more than 100 tons of dust particles disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere daily). Those NEOs that are larger than around 98 to 164 feet (30 to 50 meters) in size could cause widespread damage in and around their impact sites. Apart from NEOs, there is another category that NASA uses. These are the potentially hazardous objects (PHO). These are near-Earth objects whose orbit brings them within 4.7 million miles (7.5 million km) of Earth’s orbit, or is greater than 500 feet (140 meters) in size. (Pixabay)
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)
4/5 The highest risk of impact for a known asteroid is a 1 in 714 chance of impact by an asteroid designated 2009 FD in 2185. This means that the possibility that it could impact then is less than 0.2 percent. NASA said, "One asteroid that NASA is studying up close, called Bennu, has a 1/2700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2195. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will complete a 2-year investigation of Bennu before plucking a sample of asteroid material off its surface and delivering it back to Earth." (Pixabay)
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)
5/5 How can we prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth? Currently, an asteroid impact is the only natural disaster that NASA might be able to prevent. There are a few methods that NASA is studying to deflect an asteroid on a course to impact Earth. One of these techniques is called a gravity tractor—it involves a spacecraft that would rendezvous with an asteroid (but not land on its surface) and maintain its relative, optimal position to use the mutual gravity attraction between the satellite and the asteroid to slowly alter the course of the asteroid. (Pixabay)
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)
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Comet ZTF will be visible to the naked eye on February 1. (IIA/Himalayan Chandra Telescope)

An extremely rare comet was visible during dawn in the sky above Abu Dhabi on January 14. Comets are of interest to scientists because they are remnants of the early Solar System, and can tell us about the conditions and composition of the early Solar System. When a comet approaches the Sun, the heat causes the ice in the comet to turn into a gas, which surrounds the nucleus of the comet in a bright coma. The gas and dust in the coma form a bright tail that always points away from the Sun.

When these comets pass by Earth, they are seen as glowing balls in the sky with a faintly lit tail. Although comets periodically pass by Earth, the expected flyby of a recent, rare green comet has excited scientists and skywatchers around the world as it has come back for the first time in nearly 50000 years! And it may never do so again!

What is Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)?

Although comets often make close flybys, the Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is particularly special as it has a period of around 50000 years. That means the last time it flew past Earth closely, it was seen by Neanderthals during the Upper Paleolithic period on Earth nearly 50000 years ago.

Comet E3 ZTF is a long-period comet that originated in the Oort cloud. It was discovered by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at the Zwicky Transient Facility in 2022 in early March, NASA revealed. It passed closest to Earth a couple of days ago and was even witnessed in the sky in Abu Dhabi between 05:01 to 05:36 UAE on January 14. Astronomers estimate this comet will come within roughly 26 million miles of Earth on February 1.

How to watch the Comet ZTF

While the green comet will be visible to the naked eye on February 1, there are some preconditions to be able to watch it. You need to be in an area with relatively low light pollution and clear sky. This means that people living in big cities might not be able to see the comet directly or with the help of a telescope.

Fortunately, The Virtual Telescope Project will be hosting a free livestream of the comet on February 2. You can watch the livestream directly on the website by clicking here or on YouTube.

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First Published Date: 17 Jan, 11:30 IST