Date: January 29th, 2023
Exposure: 60 x 1 minutes (1h 0min)
About This Image
Telescope: Sky-Watcher Equinox 80ED
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount MX
Camera: ZWO ASI2600MC-Pro
Filter: ZWO IR/UV Cut 2"
Accessories: ESATTO 2" Focuser • Televue TRF-2008
Guiding: SVBony SV165 Mini Guide Scope • ASI462MC
Software: Photoshop • PixInsight • TheSkyX • Starkeeper Voyager
Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF zipped past our planet at a distance of about 26.4 million miles (42.5 million km), and it is green in appearance. What makes it more interesting is that it was last visible to us 50,000 years ago during the age of the Neanderthals. It will also be the last time the comet graces our night sky as it is flung out of our Solar System, after it's current journey around our Sun. If you are into stargazing, then you can differentiate it from the stars as it will appear as a fuzzy spot in binoculars or small telescope.
The comet has a greenish, emerald hue reflection to it because of its chemical composition. A clash between sunlight and carbon-based molecules, especially diatomic carbon and cyanogen, in the comet's coma causes this effect. Moreover, the incredible shine is caused by UV radiation from the sun, which lights up the gases streaming off the comet's surface.
Distance: 44 Million Kilometers
Size: 1 Kilometer