February 6, 2023

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The year 2023 begins with a “visit” of a comet from the Neanderthal era

The comet has a distinctive golden tail and a bluish-green plume of gas and dust (Photo: Dan Bartlett/NASA)

The new year begins… A visitor from the past as one comet Which came close to Earth back in the Neanderthal era, it will be close to our planet again in January.

This is comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF), which was discovered by a telescope in California in March 2022. In fact, it is possible that it will be visible even with the naked eye by the end of the month.

The comet will “visit” the Sun first: it will approach its closest point (perihelion) on January 12, at a distance of about 160 million km from it.

It will then approach our planet where it is expected to reach its closest distance (perihelion) of 42 million km on February 1 or 2.

It is already visible through a telescope

According to the US space agency (NASA), the new moon on January 21 provides an opportunity to observe the comet in the night sky.

Recent images of C/2022 E3—which at first looked like an asteroid, but then started getting brighter and brighter—show it has a distinctive golden tail and a plume of bluish-greenish dust and gas.

The comet is already visible with powerful telescopes and binoculars when the sky is clear in the evening.

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from the primitive era

It is estimated that the period of the comet is about 50,000 years, which means that the last time it approached Earth, Neanderthals were still alive, as did our ancestors Homo sapiens.

Of course, even if they saw him, they wouldn’t understand what he was talking about.

With information from APE-MPE

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