Later today, a visitor from the solar system’s frigid outermost regions will come within 26 million miles of Earth: a ball of ice and dust that will glow in our skies with an emerald gleam.
For the past several months, the recently discovered comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has been dazzling stargazers and astrophotographers, with the excitement ratcheting up in recent weeks. On the evening of February 1, the comet is making its closest approach to Earth in 50,000 years—providing a vibrant glimpse into one of the building blocks of our cosmic home.
Where did this comet come from, and how can you see it for yourself? We’ve got you covered.
C/2022 E3 (ZTF) hails from the Oort cloud: an icy hinterland on the