A rare green comet passed Earth this week

If you’re looking at the night sky over the next month and a little green light flashes across the sky, don’t panic, aliens haven’t landed.

A rare green comet is expected to pass near Earth this week and will be visible in the night sky for about a month, according to NASA and astronomers.

This published image obtained from the NASA website shows Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) discovered by astronomers using the Zwicky Transit Facility’s Wide Field Survey Camera.

Dan Bartlett/NASA/AFP via Getty Images

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was discovered last March when it was already within the orbit of Jupiter. It can be distinguished by its green glow.

NASA scientists said the comet is expected to make its closest approach to the sun, or perihelion, on January 12, and will be visible to stargazers in the northern hemisphere. Those in the Southern Hemisphere should be able to see the comet in February.

“Comets are notoriously unpredictable, but if they continue their current direction in brightness, they will be easy to spot with binoculars, and potentially visible to the naked eye under dark skies,” NASA wrote on its website. “what’s up” blog earlier this month.

Image: Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) passed near Earth on February 2, 2023.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will pass closest to Earth on February 2, 2023.


The comet will turn northwest on the horizon throughout January and will make its closest pass to Earth between February 1 and February 2, according to NASA. During that time, the comet will be 26 million miles from the planet, according to astronomers.

The comet will be close to Mars in about a week, according to astronomy charts.

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