This is “Comet ZTF” (C/2022 E3 (ZTF)) taken at Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory around 5:00 on January 31, 2023 (JST, the same below).
Discovered in March 2022, Comet ZTF made its closest approach to the Sun on January 13, 2023, and then approached the Earth in the early hours of February 2, 2023. The distance from the Earth at its closest approach is about 42 million km (a little less than one-third the distance from the Earth to the Sun).
Comet ZTF, which has made its closest approach to the earth, is in full bloom. Its brightness before and after its closest approach is about 5th magnitude, but it is expected to fade to about 6th magnitude on February 10 as it gradually moves away from the earth.
According to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the European Space Agency (ESA), it is possible to see Comet ZTF vaguely with the naked eye under good dark skies. It is recommended to shoot with a camera with appropriate settings.
According to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, it can be seen near the zenith in Tokyo from sunset to midnight around February 8. These bright stars and The planet seems to be a landmark.
The comet’s name, “ZTF,” is an abbreviation for the Palomar Observatory’s Zwicky Transient Facility, which discovered the comet. The ZTF, which searches for sudden objects, has so far captured comets, supernova explosions, tidal disruptions of stars, etc. increase).
Comet ZTF, which made its closest approach this time, is thought to have originally revolved in an elongated elliptical orbit with a period of 50,000 years, but it is thought that the orbit will change due to the gravity of the planet and eventually escape from the solar system. If you have the chance to see the comet that you will never see again, let’s try to observe it!
- Image Credit: National Astronomical Observatory
- National Astronomical Observatory of Japan – Comet ZTF approaches Earth (January/February 2023)
- ESA – Curious comet’s rare close approach
Sentence/sorae editorial department