The comet will make its first and probably only appearance in recorded history

The comet will make its first and probably only appearance in recorded history

The new year has just begun, but the cosmos is already poised to make history in 2023. A comet discovered less than a year ago has traveled billions of miles from its criss-crossing origins at the edge of our solar system and will be visible in just one year. few weeks during what will probably be his only recorded appearance.

The comet, C/2022 E3 (ZTF), was first seen in March 2022 as it made its way through Jupiter’s orbit. According to NASA, it is a long-period comet believed to come from the Oort cloud, the farthest region of Earth’s solar system that is “like a large, thick-walled bubble made of icy chunks of space debris” that can become even bigger than mountains. The inner edge of this region is believed to be between 2,000 and 5,000 astronomical units (AU) from the sun, between 186 billion and 465 billion miles.

This means that C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has made a rare, once-in-a-lifetime trip to be close to Earth.

“Most known long-period comets have only been seen once in recorded history because their orbital periods are so, well, long” says NASA. “Countless more unknown long-period comets have never been seen by human eyes. Some have such long orbits that the last time they passed through the inner solar system, our species did not yet exist.”

A recent such comet, C/2013 A1 Siding Spring, previously visited the inner solar system and went close to Mars in 2014but according to the space agency, it won’t return for about 740,000 years.

Jessica Lee, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said Newsweek that the E3 Comet could be a similar situation.

“We still don’t have an estimate of how far it will get from Earth, estimates vary, but if it does come back, it won’t be for at least 50,000 years,” he said. “…Some predictions suggest that this comet’s orbit is so eccentric that it’s no longer in orbit, so it won’t come back at all and keep going.”

Now, the recently discovered comet E3, which has been seen with a bright greenish coma and the pulse queue “short width”, is set to make its closest approach to the sun on January 12. It will make its closest approach to Earth on February 2.

Astrophotographer Dan Bartlett managed to capture an image of the comet in December from his backyard in California. He could see a “complex tail structure” in the comet’s plasma tail, he said, and “conditions are improving.”

Dan Bartlett was able to capture a photo of the comet from his home in California on December 19. / Credit: Dan Bartlett/NASA

If all goes well and the comet continues its current trend of brightness, NASA said it will be easily spotted with the help of binoculars. It may also be visible to the naked eye away from city lights. Those in the Northern Hemisphere will be able to see the comet in the morning during January, while those in the Southern Hemisphere will be able to see it in early February, NASA said.

“This comet is not expected to be the show that Comet NEOWISE was in 2020,” the agency added. “But it’s still an incredible opportunity to make a personal connection with an icy visitor from the distant outer solar system.”

The former director of Ràdio Lliure Europa Mark Pomar explains the new reality for the broadcaster | 60 minutes

Author and illustrator of the children’s book “We Are Here” about celebrating the black community

3D printed ’tiles’ help revive coral worldwide

#comet #appearance #recorded #history

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button