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A comet visible to the naked eye returns to Earth after 50,000 years

A comet visible to the naked eye returns to Earth after 50,000 years

One The comet was last seen 50,000 years ago It will make a new visit to Earth, when it will reach its closest point to the Sun in the early hours of Friday (13).

The object is called C/2022 E3 (ZTF)It can be observed in the Northern Hemisphere with the help of binoculars or telescopes on the specified date, but it will be more visible with the naked eye in the Southern Hemisphere on February 2, as it will make its closest approach to our planet, at a distance of 42 million kilometers.

Comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF) will return to Earth after 50,000 yearsSource: NASA/Reproduction

the comet It was discovered by the Palomar Observatory (California) in March 2022, when it was already moving within the solar system – specifically at Jupiter. Its orbital period is 50,000 years, calculated by NASAHe reveals that the last to witness its passage were Neanderthals and the first Homo sapiens, who shared the planet during the Ice Age.

Until now, not much is known about the characteristics of the icy visitor — which has been seen glowing green in the sky. So the following “greeting” should help astronomers piece together information about its origin, size, and composition. However, this will also be the last opportunity to study C / 2022 E3 (ZTF) in detail, because after February 2, the rare comet is expected to leave deep space and never return.

As here in Brazil we won’t be able to directly observe the comet’s first appearance. On Friday, interested parties can check its passage through the Virtual Telescope Project. The project will be broadcast live starting at 1:00 am on the thirteenth of its day Official site And YouTube channel.

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