NASA astrophotography January 21, 2023: Comet ZTF in all its glory!

NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day on January 21, 2023 is none other than Comet ZTF, which is headed for its rendezvous with Earth in February.

The rare blue comet that is about to meet the Earth rendezvous has been all over the news! This rare comet C2022 E3 ZTF is at perihelion, closest to the Sun, on January 12. What makes it so interesting is that it occurs only once every 50,000 years. But don’t worry, Perigee, the comet’s closest approach to our Earth, will be on February 1. This is a golden opportunity to see it. Today, it has been shared by NASA as the Astronomical Picture of the Day.

“Comet C/2022E3 (ZTF) is no longer too faint to claim a telescope Let’s see. As of January 19, it was only visible to the naked eye in this rural sky with little light pollution from a site about 20 kilometers from Salamanca, Spain.” NASA Comet ZTF visual interpretation. However, NASA says that the telescope images are needed to show any signs of the comet’s pretty green color, stout white dusty tail and long ion tail.

The shared image shows its faint ion tail that has been affected by recent solar activity. “This visitor from far Oort cloud rounding Sun on January 12 and is currently sweeping through the stars near the northern boundary of the constellation Bootes. NASA announced: “Out of bounds but still growing brighter, Comet ZTF made its closest approach on February 2, within about 2.4 light-minutes of our beautiful planet.

How to see comet ZTF

At its closest point to Earth, the comet will still be more than 100 times away from the moon! Late January and early February are the best times to witness this icy visitor from outside the solar system, with the naked eye. says that on January 30, the comet will be in the general vicinity of Polaris – the North Star.

Do you know?

With the help of the 48-inch (1.2-meter) Samuel Oschin robotic telescope, astronomers discovered Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF on March 2, 2022. This telescope is one part of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), located at Mt. in southern California. In addition, it is the 3rd object found in the fifth month (A, B, C, D, E) of the year. And that’s why it’s called comet 2022 E3 (ZTF).


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