A rare comet, C/2022 E3 (ZTF), will be visible in the Southern Hemisphere in early February. Nicknamed ‘the green comet’ due to its emerald glow, the astronomical wonder orbits the sun every 50,000 years, meaning the last time it was visible on Earth was during the Stone Age.
Already visible in the Northern Hemisphere since late December, the comet will be observable from Australia and New Zealand around 2 February, when it is closest to earth.
The comet will be around 43,000,000 kilometres from Earth, a distance equivalent to 2.5 light minutes.
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According to NASA, the brightness of comets such as this are difficult to predict. The best opportunity to see the green comet will be with binoculars or a telescope in areas of low light pollution, with the best chance of seeing it with the naked eye being at night.
The comet can be identified with its distinct green glow and long tail that is made up of primordial dust and ice.