Stargazer’s delight: Rare green comet soon visible in Germany
Not seen since Neanderthals walked the earth, the green comet will soon be visible in skies across Germany, peaking on the night of February 1. The comet originates from the furthest territories of our solar system.
What is the Green comet?
The green comet, even less poetically known as Comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF), was identified just under a year ago by astrologists at Zwicky Transient Observatory in California.
The comet is special for a number of reasons: perhaps most mysteriously, it is thought to originate from an Oort cloud, a collection of icy objects which exists only in the furthest flung expanses of the solar system.
The verdant comet is worth a peak for another reason too. Unlike more frequent comet visitors, it is believed that the last time the green comet was visible from Earth was 50.000 years ago, meaning our archaic human ancestors, Neanderthals, could well have been the last lucky observers of the comet’s passing.
Comet C watching in Germany
On the night of February 1, the comet will reach its closest proximity to Earth, a mere 26 million miles away from our home. Some reports suggest that luckily, it may be possible to see the green comet with the naked human eye alone! A telescope will obviously grant you a better look. But if you’re not a stargazing savant, a pair of binoculars should do the trick. The weather on Wednesday and Thursday is set to be rainy but forecasters have said the comet should still be visible.
If you’re wanting to get a good look it is worth getting out of the city for your comet spotting. The less light pollution the better. The comet is set to reach its highest point in the sky just after midnight. It will appear as a smudge of light in the north of our skies, close to the polar star, Polaris. It can also be helpful to download a stargazing app for your mobile phone in advance. So put on a cosy jacket, bring your binoculars and make a memory you can treasure for the next 50.000 years!
Thumb image credit: Lukasz Pawel Szczepanski / Shutterstock.com