Photographer and science communicator Miguel Claro took a stunning photo of comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF). The record was captured on January 12 at the Dark Sky Alqueva Observatory in Portugal and shows the beauty of the comet and its tail.
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The photo was taken during the comet’s perihelion, that is, when it was at its closest approach to the Sun. In the image, it is possible to see its greenish coma, coming from the luminous carbon dioxide, and the long tail of ions ejected from its nucleus.
Check it out below:
In the image, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) appears shining between the constellations of Hercules, Northern Crown and Böotes, the Boieiro. At the time of recording, the comet was about 108 million kilometers from Earth, with a visual magnitude of 7.3.
It is worth keeping an eye on the sky: the comet continues its journey through space and will reach perigee, the closest point to Earth, on February 1st, and may even be visible to the naked eye. “These objects are unpredictable, and we never know what surprises might be waiting for us,” said Miguel, in the description of the image.
When first observed in March 2022, comet 2022 E3 ZTF had an apparent magnitude of 17.3, i.e. much dimmer brightness than currently observed. It will be visible in the sky of the southern hemisphere from the 2nd of February.