Washington! Don’t Miss This Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
A newly discovered comet is now visible in the early morning sky across Washington state, but not for long.
The comet, C/2022 E3 (ZTF), was first sighted in March of 2022 when it was already inside the orbit of Jupiter. Currently the comet is in the constellation of Corona Borealis, though will soon transit into the Camelopardalis constellation and will continue to move northwest (by our perspective).
The comet has continued to brighten as it approaches Earth, though you'll most likely want to observe it with a good pair of binoculars, or a decent telescope.
According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the comet has an earth-bound cycle of around 50,000 years. Meaning the last time humans set eyes on the celestial object was during the Upper Paleolithic period, during the early rise of homo sapiens and the decline of the last Neanderthals.
New images of C/2022 E3 (ZTF) show its coma glowing with a green hue with a long, but faint tail. Like other comets, it is believed to have formed around the beginning of our solar system, an estimated 4.6 billion years ago.
To date there have been roughly four thousand comets discovered in our solar system... and there are certainly more to be found.
The best way to see it in the northern hemisphere is to look north after sunset, between the big dipper and the north star. You shouldn't need a telescope to see the object if you are far enough away from any sources of light pollution.