This month an ultra rare green comet will make its closest approach to the sun, giving the first opportunity to everyone in the Charlotte region to spot the majestic celestial object.
According to EarthSky, night watchers can look low on the northeastern horizon to spot it.
The green-tailed comet, officially named C/2022 E3 (ZTF) by NASA, was first spotted on March 2, 2022 using the Zwicky Transient Facility’s wide–field survey camera at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, CA. The object has an orbital path that takes it through the outer reaches of the solar system, likely making its first appearance in the sky roughly 50,000 years ago.
After making its closest approach to the sun tonight, the comet will make its closest pass of Earth between February 1 and February 2, around 26 million miles (42 million kilometers) away. During this time, observers will be able to spot the comet near the bright star Polaris, otherwise known as the North Star.
Depending on its brightness, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) may even be visible to the unaided eye in dark skies by the end of January. Binoculars should be enough to spot it in the morning sky throughout January for those in the Northern Hemisphere and in the early part of February for those in the Southern Hemisphere.