Rare Green Comet Not Seen In Thousands Of Years To Become Visible This Week

Attention stargazers!

Green Comet

Dan Bartlett/NASA

Eyes to the skies, folks!

A newly discovered comet distinguished by its greenish hue will make an appearance for the first time in thousands of years this week. 

"If C/2022 E3 has ever passed through the solar system before, it would have last been seen in the sky more than 10,000 years ago," Jon Giorgini, a senior analyst at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told NPR.

NASA scientists expect the comet to be most visible in the Northern Hemisphere on January 12, when it’s closest to the sun. C/2022 E3 is scheduled to draw nearest to Earth three weeks later on February 1. The comet’s brightness is predicted to peak at this point, giving the Southern Hemisphere its best opportunity of witnessing it. From there it will begin to fade as it heads back towards the outer solar system.

According to EarthSky, U.S. stargazers using telescopes and binoculars should look low on the northeastern horizon in the early morning hours of January to catch a glimpse of it. It’s unclear whether or not it will become visible to the naked eye, but scientists are optimistic. 

“Comets are notoriously unpredictable, but if this one continues its current trend in brightness, it'll be easy to spot with binoculars, and it's just possible it could become visible to the unaided eye under dark skies,” NASA notes.

Viewers can also tune in to see C/2022 E3 via livestream hosted by the Virtual Telescope Project on January 12. 

Keep those eyes peeled, y’all!

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