NASA predicts that earthlings may be able to view a rare green comet for the first time in 50,000 years (since the Stone Age) as it soars through the night skies this January and February! The comet, dubbed C/2022 E3 by NASA was first spotted near Jupiter in March 2022.
The green comet continues to trek billions of miles and will reach the inner planets sometime around February 2023. The date to watch is February 1, when it is expected to be closest to our planet according to Fast and Company.
It will still be 26.4 million miles from earth, but despite that hilariously large distance, it might be visible to the naked eye! The glowing green nucleus should definitely be visible in clear skies with binoculars or a telescope, so prepare your gear!
Astronomer Jessica Lee from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, told Newsweek that this is a once in lifetime event.
We don’t have an estimate for the furthest [the comet] will get from the Earth yet, but if it does return, it won’t be for at least 50,000 years.
The best time and location to view the green comet
While the comet may be visible in the northern hemisphere for most of January, you’ll definitely need tools like binoculars or a telescope to view it. The comet will reach it’s brightest and nearest point on February 1 and be visible to the naked eye, according to NASA.
Experts recommend, to increase your chances of viewing the comet, you must do so in clear skies, away from city lights and pollution. They also recommend pre-dawn hours as the best viewing time as the sky is completely still and dark. Sunrise will be at 6:58 AM on February 1, so make sure to schedule a viewing from anywhere between 5 AM- 6:30 AM.
The Green Comet will be visible by telescope, binoculars, and possibly the naked eye from 5 AM through predawn (until about 6:50 AM) on the evening of January 31 into the morning of February 1