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When and where can you see it in the sky in January 2023

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Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is approaching Earth. When, where and how, with a little luck, you can see it in the sky with the naked eye: all the info.

Ham – Do you remember Nawaz? In the summer of 2020, Comet C/2020 F3 could be seen in the sky for several days and was particularly visible in North Rhine-Westphalia. You can marvel at the tailed star with the naked eye. In January and February 2023 another comet will come close to Earth. Comet C/2022 E3, abbreviated ZTF. When and how interested parties can better observe the spectacle of the sky, we summarize in an overview.

what comet
family name C/2022 E3 (ZTF)
Discovery date March 2, 2022
explorer The Zwicky Transit Facility at Palomar Observatory

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF): When and how to see it in the sky

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was discovered on March 2, 2022. It will reach perihelion, its closest point to the Sun, on January 12, 2023. After that it gets exciting, because then C/2022 E3 (ZTF) moves toward Earth – And it can be visible to us until mid-February.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) captured on December 19, 2022. © Dan Bartlett / NASA

According to NASA, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) can initially only be observed in the Northern Hemisphere with binoculars or a small telescope in the morning sky. However, over time, it will remain high in the sky near the North Star all night long. So interested parties should look north.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is visible in the sky – good time at new moon

The right time to watch the comet is at the new moon January 21, 2023 Almost unlike the full moon that shone on January 7th. The moon is between the earth and the sun. In this position, exactly half of the moon that has moved away from the Earth is illuminated. So we don’t see the moon – and the night stays mostly dark. Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is particularly good for admiring the new moon.

According to Haus der Astronomie, the days after that, shortly before the end of January, would also be ideal: “The comet has almost reached its maximum brightness at about 5.5 mag, and the moon in the first quarter sets in the second half of the night,” according to experts. .

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF): “You have to know exactly where in the sky to find it”

The maximum brightness of 5.5 mag is very impressive for a comet, and you might even be able to see it with the naked eye under very dark skies. “But you have to know exactly where in the sky to find him.” Search maps of the Society of Friends of Stars, star atlases or suitable mobile applications can help.

Comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF): it will reach its closest point to Earth on February 1, but …

In the Feb 1 There are only 42 million kilometers between the comet and Earth. Then it is in the constellation Giraffe. One would think that this is the best time to see C/2022 E3 (ZTF) in the sky. However, moonlight will interfere with observation—the full moon is on February 5th.

Overview of Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) orbited from early January to early March 2023. The map shows a view of the sky on February 1 at midnight. The comet is a morning sky object until the end of January, after which it will stay high in the sky all night and then head toward the northwest evening sky. © sternfreunde.de

However, those who missed Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) at the end of January will have another chance to catch a glimpse of it in February. The second week of February offers another window for observing the evening sky. C/2022 E3 is then about bright mag 6, experts explain from Haus der Astronomie. In addition, an exciting encounter can be observed with a small telescope: On 10 and 11 February C/2022 E3 will pass near Mars.

was the culprit
This was comet “Neowise” in July 2020 over Warstein (NRW). It was visible to the naked eye. © Schroeder, Daniel

A new comet in the sky: according to experts, it is no match for “NEWAZ”.

However, astronomy fans do not mind: according to Austrian comet photographer Michael Jäger, a show like that of Comet C / 2020 F3 (Neowise) cannot be expected in the summer of 2020: “With bright comets, like last time the comet expert said in an interview with fr .de.

#sky #January

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