Stay Up to Watch the Rare Green Comet Shooting Across Tonight's Sky—It Was Last Seen 50,000 Years Ago
Beyond Earth's atmosphere, there is an entire cosmos filled with unimaginable discoveries—but every now and then, these phenomenons pass through our night sky on their epic journeys. If you time it right, you'll be able to see one of these monumental celestial sightings this evening: For the first time in 50,000 years, a rare green comet, formally known as C/2022 E3 (ZTF), will shoot across the sky, reports Space. The interstellar object will actually be closest to the sun tonight, but still visible from Earth. Come February 1, the comet will be closer to our planet, a mere 28 million miles away.
Visibility of the once-in-a-lifetime comet will depend on your location and the area's light pollution. Those in the Northern Hemisphere should direct their telescopes towards the northeastern horizon before midnight, around 11:18 p.m. ET, reports People. If you don't have stargazing equipment handy, you can tune into the Virtual Telescope Project's livestream; the broadcast will begin at 11 p.m. ET.
Up until this point, the comet has been wedged in the Corona Borealis constellation. Tonight, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will makes its closest approach to the sun as it moves northwest in space. From there, it will turn west and head towards Earth.
That means tonight isn't your only chance to see the comet—it will get closer to Earth throughout the rest of January and into early February. On January 26 and 27, it will be in the eastern region, close to the Little Dipper. By the evening of February 1, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will be in its closest proximity to Earth as it moves through the boundaries of the Camelopardalis constellation.