Keep your eyes peeled for this comet in 2023

A comet glows white and green.
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was discovered by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at the Zwicky Transient Facility this year in early March. This fine telescopic image was taken on December 19th. | Dan Bartlett via NASA

Here’s something to look forward to in the new year: 2023 could give us a once-in-a-generation chance to see a new comet grace our skies.

Stargazers can keep their eyes peeled for Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) throughout January and early February, although they’ll need a telescope or binoculars to spot it at first. As the comet races closer to Earth, however, there’s a chance the comet could become visible to the naked eye under dark skies. If that happens, it’ll be the first comet to reveal itself to the unaided eye since NEOWISE passed us by in 2020.

This new comet was discovered last March while it was within Jupiter’s orbit. The comet’s current trajectory should bring it closest to the sun by January 12th. On February 2nd, according to…

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Author: Justine Calma