Rare comet visible in KC tonight through end of January

C/2022 E3 (ZTF) only swings by once every 50,000 years.
Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF

C/2022 E3 (ZTF) captured by Akihiro Yamazaki.

A comet, not witnessed since the time of Neanderthals, is set to make its second appearance to Earth during humanity’s run. Discovered at the Zwicky Transient Facility in the lucky month of March, “C/2023 E3 (ZTF)”—we’ll call her “C”—is definitely one to be gazing towards. 

She’ll pass closest to the Sun on Jan.12 and closest to Earth on Feb. 1. In between this time, C’s green glow should become visible to the naked eye and can be spotted if you look slightly south of the Big Dipper, and north of the Little Dipper. You’ll likely scan the sky and recognize C by her brighter complexion compared to the rest of her starling companions. C has a full orbit of 50,000 years, so enjoy her once-in-a-lifetime company while you can.

Key to experiencing C’s welcome back with the best visibility involves finding a dark location to settle into, and perhaps bringing a pair of binoculars. Otherwise, current suggestions predict naked-eye visibility will be highly likely. 

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