Stargazers beware! On the night of Wednesday, February 1 to Thursday, February 2, a special green comet can be seen over Enschede. This comet, named C/2022 E3 (ZTF), is the closest to Earth.
Good to know: The comet can only be seen clearly with binoculars or a telescope. Weather conditions have to cooperate, too.
Under ideal weather conditions, the comet should also be visible to the naked eye. You don’t get a really sharp image, but a fuzzy green dot can be noticed. If you have binoculars on hand and the sky is clear, you can clearly see the green comet with a golden tail. If you are going to witness this natural phenomenon, it is best to do so on a Rutbeek, in Enschede Park, or some other place where it is dark.
A comet is made of ice, gas, and dust. C/2022 E3 (ZTF) orbits the Sun and heats up as you get close to it. Then parts of the comet break off, forming the tail. The gas cloud surrounding the comet can range from 100,000 to 1 million kilometers across. The distance between Enschede and the comet is 43 million km on the night of February 1-2.
50,000 years ago
There is another special fact about this comet. About 50,000 years ago, this comet was last seen with the naked eye. At that time, Neanderthals were still roaming the place where Enschede is now!
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