A Green Comet Will Be Approaching Earth’s Sky

The comet, C/2022 E3

The comet, C/2022 E3

Abigail Medina

Astronomers have announced that a comet will fly through Earth’s atmosphere and be visible because of a green light emitted by the celestial object itself. Astronomers have named the comet C/2022 E3.

C/2022 E3 was discovered by astronomers Bryce Bolin and Frank Masci in March 2022. They used a Zwicky Transient Facility telescope at California’s Palomar Observatory. At first, Bolin wasn’t completely sure that the object was a comet. However, observers from the Minor Planet Center at the International Astronomical Union double-checked the finding and confirmed that it was a comet.

In terms of finding the comet, Bolin says, “You can find the comet by looking south of the Big Dipper, near the constellation Camelopardalis.” “If you can find the North Star, you can then trace directly south from that to that.” The comet has a green nucleus, which causes it to glow, and, according to Bolin, should be “half the size of the moon.”

The comet casts a green glow due to the makeup of carbon chain molecules. When the molecules are met with sunlight, they break down into less complex carbon diatomic molecules. This is the cause of the green hue that the comet will cast.

Besides the unique green aura that the comet produces, the comet is quite ancient and a rarity at that. The last time C/2022 E3 was visible was in the Stone Age days. The comet was most likely formed during the initial formation of our solar system. According to Bolin, “These kinds of comets that come this close or become this bright only come every few years or so, every four or five years.”

Depending on the weather conditions, the comet should be visible during mid-February in the Northern Hemisphere in a clear sky. For anyone worried about missing it, don’t worry! The comet will be moving at a relatively slow pace. Bolin says, “It will be hard to see it move.” So keep a lookout for C/2022 E3!