How to See Newly Discovered ‘Super Rare’ Green Comet in Central New York
A super rare Comet has been discovered and we may get to catch a glimpse of it in Central New York before it's gone forever.
The Comet is called ZTF, named after the telescope known as the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory in California where it was discovered. A robotic camera attached to the telescope found it on March 2, 2022.
Experts are calling the bright green Comet ZTF 'super rare.' It has traveled nearly 3 trillion miles and will come the closest to Earth on February 1, 2023, for a once-in-a-lifetime event, according to NASA.
Why Is it Green
What gives Comet ZTF a green color? The Farmer's Almanac says it's all about science.
The greenish color is likely due to a molecule made from two carbon atoms bonded together, called dicarbon. The appearance of green comets due to dicarbon is fairly uncommon.
If you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Comet ZTF you may not even notice the green. It'll likely be very faint.
When Can I See the Green Comet
The best time to see Comet ZTF without a telescope is from the end of January into early February when it could be bright enough for the naked eye. But you'll need to find a dark place, away from city lights, and pray for a cloud-free sky.
If you miss Comet ZTF, you may not get another chance to see it. Astronomer Jessica Lee tells Newsweek, "if it does return, it won’t be for at least 50,000 years,”
The Farmer's Almanac has tips on where to look in the sky to catch a glimpse of the comet.
Towards constellation Boötes before sunrise.
Above the horizon any time throughout the night.
Several degrees to the east of the bowl of the Little Dipper.
Near the constellation Camelopardalis.
Towards the brilliant yellow-white star Capella.
Directly overhead at around 8 PM.
Two degrees to the upper left of Mars.
You can also check skywatching apps, like Google Sky, SkySafari, or Star Tracker to see where Comet ZTF is at throughout the next month.
If you live in a big city, you may be out of luck.
Sighting this comet is going to be a difficult—if not an impossible task.
You can always try and catch a glimpse of Comet ZTF on the Secrets of Space live video.