Once every 50 thousand years. A rare comet flew very close to the Sun and will soon be near the Earth
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Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has comet closest to our star since the last ice age.
considered an asteroid, flew up to the closest distance to the Sun. And already in February, it will fly past the Earth very close, writes Space.
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This rare comet, which was discovered only in March last year, last flew into the inner part of the solar system and flew past the Earth 50 thousand years ago. Then the last ice age continued on the planet in full swing and the early Homo sapiens, together with the Neanderthals, still divided the Earth among themselves.
But on the morning of January 13, the long-period comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) flew closest to the Sun and was at a distance of 160 million km from the star. After that, it began to move towards our planet and will be closest to the Earth on February 2 at a distance of 42 million km from the planet.
By the way, the Italian project The Virtual Telescope Project has scheduled a live stream on YouTube, during which you can see the comet flying in space. The broadcast will begin at 6 am Kyiv time on Saturday, January 14.
Focus already wrote in detail about the discovery of this comet last year, that astronomers initially mistook it for an asteroid, and why it has such an unusual name.
According to NASA scientists, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will reach its maximum brightness just on February 2, and therefore it can be seen, possibly even with the naked eye, in the night sky when it is visible in the constellation Giraffe.
On the other hand, even if the brightness of the comet is not enough for this, for It can be observed with binoculars or a small telescope. Most importantly, the comet can be observed during all the remaining days of January, as well as in early February. According to scientists, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will be best seen in the sky early in the morning.
Focus has already written that scientists have learned what exactly the famous comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko smells like. It turned out that in its composition there are substances that were not previously found in the composition of comets.