A green comet will appear in the Naperville night sky

Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF)
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The Naperville night sky will feature a recently discovered comet for the first time in 50,000 years.

The comet’s name is C/2022 E3 (ZTF). It was spotted by California astronomers in March of 2022. According to The Planetary Society, this comet has passed through the outer reaches of our solar system but is finally swinging back around to Earth. NASA says the green comet will make its closest approach to the sun on Jan. 12, making it most visible to those in the northern hemisphere. Its path will then swing closer to our planet.

“This (comet) is expected to be closest to Earth later this month,” said Rick Gering, public relations officer of the Naperville Astronomical Association. “But by that time, it may be even less visible than it is now.”

How to see the comet?

The comet won’t be easily seen by the naked eye. Instead, you’ll need a telescope or a pair of binoculars to see the falling star. Skygazers can see the comet low on the northeast horizon right before midnight on Jan. 12. 

“Right now it’s quite close to the sun, which means it’s relatively bright for a comet,” said Gering. “The comet does have a green color, so that should be a giveaway.”

Throughout January, the comet can be seen each night between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., according to Gering.

Naperville News 17’s Will Payne reports.

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photo courtesy: NASA