Newly discovered green comet comes close to Earth

comet in starry sky
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A newly discovered comet will make its closest approach to our planet on Wednesday.

Astronomers say the object’s journey toward us took around 50,000 years.

Photographs captured by astronomers show a distinct green hue around the body of the comet.

But those expecting a brilliant streak of emerald in the sky will be disappointed. Its brightness is right at the threshold of what is visible to the naked eye.

However, away from light pollution and below dark skies, one might be able to see a smudge in the sky – if you know what you’re looking for.

Would-be stargazers have a better chance of spotting it using binoculars, in which it will appear as a faint white blur.

Comets are mostly composed of ice and dust. As they approach the Sun, the ice is vaporised and the dust shaken off to create the signature long tail.

Astronomers discovered the comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) last March at the Palomar Observatory in California.

It will make its closest approach to Earth at around 41 million km (26 million miles) away this Wednesday.

The object originates in the Oort cloud, a collection of icy bodies at the edge of the Solar System.

Read more via BBC

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