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Green Comet Last in Solar System 50,000 Years Ago Spotted Over Long Island



Did you see it?

A comet last in the solar system about 50,000 years ago was visible in the pre-dawn sky Thursday for intrepid Americans who likely only needed a telescope or even just binoculars to catch a glimpse of its green glory.

The comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), a name that NASA acknowledges is a mouthful, hit its closest point to Earth on Feb. 2 on its jaunt through the inner solar system, treating those in the Northern Hemisphere to a glorious spectacle.

Michael Amato, a 13-year-old from Long Island’s Setauket, was among those fortunate enough to get a photo (below).


Michael Amato

Comet photo taken by Michael Amato of Setauket on Feb. 2.

The newly discovered comet was first spotted in March 2021 when it was inside Jupiter’s orbit. Those in the Southern Hemisphere will be able to see it later this month.

C/2022 E3 was last in the solar system during the Upper Paleolithic era in the Ice Ages but it’s not known if it was visible from Earth at that time. It could have passed outside the orbit of Jupiter, NASA says.

It was discovered by astronomers at the Zwicky Transient Facility with its wide-field survey camera. 

“Since then, the new long-period comet has brightened substantially and is now sweeping across the northern constellation Corona Borealis in predawn skies,” according to NASA.

Source: NBC New York


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