/ 23 January 2023

Lighting up the night sky

stars, stargazing
Image: Ryan Jacobson on Unsplash

If you’re up for pondering the night sky, you might be in luck… A green-coloured comet from the outer solar system is travelling past Earth – it’s steadily gaining brightness and will make its closest approach on 2 February. Discovered in March 2022 by Californian astronomers who dubbed it C/2022 E3, it’s better known as the Green Comet. We’re not sure exactly when we’ll be able to see it in Oz – scientists say it’s unpredictable and may be tricky to spot from the Southern Hemisphere – but it’ll still be worth trying to catch a glimpse… Reports say due to its elliptical – aka egg-shaped – orbit, the last time it came this close was back when our Neanderthal ancestors roamed the Earth 50,000 years ago. On its current trajectory, it’ll pass at a distance of about 43 million km from Earth, making it faintly visible to the naked eye/better with some binoculars. Find out more here.

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