Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will be visible on January nights

The year begins with a celestial surprise, a newly discovered comet will be visible to the naked eye. Called C/2022 E3 (ZTF), the icy comet will activate its tail once it approaches perihelion and will then be visible as it gets closer to our Earth, so you can see it in the night sky in January 2023.

The astronomical calendar for January 2023 opens strong with different events that will be visible in the celestial dome, but an unexpected comet has been discovered and according to the , it can be seen with the naked eye, which means that it will not require astronomical instruments to see the spectacle. .

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

According to information from the US space agency, it was seen for the first time in March of last year when it was already within the orbit of Jupiter. But now the body is much closer to us and can be seen in the sky with the naked eye.

Comets are surprising objects, as they are reminiscent of about 4.6 billion years ago. They are made primarily of a frozen core that also includes chunks of rock, gases, and embedded dust. That is why when they reach their closest point, they activate their glow with heat and can be seen with a comatose tail that differentiates them from asteroids. And although they are notoriously unpredictable, they can be tracked thanks to this shine.

According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the , the comet has a period of around 50 thousand years, so the last time this comet crossed the skies from a terrestrial perspective was during the Upper Paleolithic.

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When to see the comet in the sky

The observers of the northern hemisphere will be able to see the comet in the sky during January mornings, while moving rapidly toward the northeast. His maximum approach to the Sun will be on January 12 and will continue with its trajectory until it is positioned closest to Earth possible, on February 2.

To see it you must look for a completely darkened sky, an opportunity that the Moon will offer on January 21 when it is in its full phase. Look for the constellation Camelopardalisalso known as the constellation Y which is located near Auriga and the two Bears.

If you are in the northern hemisphere, look in the early morning sky just before dawn in the month of January starting on the 12th. But if your location is further to the southern hemisphere, You will have to wait until February when the comet gets even closer to Earth.

Consult the January 2023 issue to find out about all the phenomena that the celestial vault has in store for us and schedule an appointment with the cosmos.