Breaking News
More () »

Skywatch 16: Green Comet

It's been roughly 50,000 years since our planet has had a green encounter of this kind.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Many eyes have been looking up for this in recent weeks, but it has been cloudy more often than not.

The so-called "green comet" official name is c/2022 e3 ztf.

It was discovered by astronomers last March at the Zwicky Transient Facility, a wide-field camera at Caltech's Palomar Facility.

In astronomy, things in the night sky are named for the people or places that discover them.

That helps explain the name.

The green comet makes its closest path to earth tonight!  

Close is a relative term, it's still 26 million miles away and zipping along at nearly 130,000 miles per hour!

The comet appears green because of the giant carbon gas cloud that's surrounding it.

Here's how you can see it: you will need a clear night sky and a clear view to the northwest any time after midnight.

It's not visible to the naked eye, so grab a pair of binoculars or your telescope.

The green comet should be visible through next Friday.

If you miss it, you snooze, you lose.  

It won't be back for another 50,000 years.

See past Skywatch 16 segments on YouTube:

Before You Leave, Check This Out