NASA has claimed that a green comet with codename C/2022 E3 (ZTF) takes about 50,000 years to complete its orbit around the Sun and will be approaching Earth in early February, Insider reports.
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Last seen by Earth during the last Ice Age
The comet was discovered by astronomers only back in March of 2022, as it takes a long time to circle the sun and was never seen before.
Scientists believe that the last time C/2022 E3 (ZTF) swirled by Earth was during the last Ice Age, some 50,000 years ago.
The latest projections reveal that the green comet will be closest to Earth on February 2 when it will be able to be seen in the night sky.
The distance between the comet and Earth will be approximately 26 million miles.
The comet is regarded as green in colour because it will have a glowing green coma surrounding it and a streaking tail which will make it distinguishable from stars.
A coma is a form of an envelope that forms around the cometas it passes close to the sun, which causes the ice on the comet to melt and makes the comet look fuzzy when observed through telescopes.
According to NASA, the green comet will be visible throughout January and February depending on the location of stargazers, CNN reports:
The comet should be visible through binoculars in the morning sky for sky-watchers in the Northern Hemisphere during most of January and those in the Southern Hemisphere in early February.
-Insider: ‘A green comet that takes about 50,000 years to complete its orbit around the sun will come closest to Earth for the first time since the Stone Age’
-CNN: ‘A green comet will appear in the night sky for the first time in 50,000 years’