No one alive on Earth right now has ever seen this comet!
Photo via Science Alert
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), discovered in March 2022, is making its closest approach to Earth for the first time after 50,000 years… That's how long astronomers believe it takes the comet to complete a single orbit around the sun — it's what's known as a long-period comet, or a comet with an orbital period of more than 200 years.
The massive ball of ice and debris has just circled the sun, reaching perihelion (its closest approach to our star) on 12 January, and is now heading towards Earth.
But don't worry, it's not heading our way. Its closest approach will be between February 1st and February 2nd, when it will be more than 26 million miles (4,18,42,944 km) away.
According to the Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA), this once-in-a-50,000-year comet will be visible in Malaysia by the end of this month.
“The comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will be visible in Malaysia's northeastern sky from January 2023 before sunrise until mid-April 2023, when it will appear more and more in the west sky.”
Komet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) telah ditemui oleh ahli astronomi pada 2 Mac 2022 dengan menggunakan Sistem teleskop robotik...
Posted by Agensi Angkasa Malaysia - MYSA on Thursday, 19 January 2023
Wah, we cannot miss this guys, it’s a once in a lifetime thing!