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On February 1, a comet will approach the Earth as close as possible, but it is not dangerous for the planet.
It became known that the comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF), discovered in March last year, will be at its minimum distance from Earth on February 1. It will be possible to observe its flight with the naked eye.
At the moment of closest approach to our planet, the comet will be 100 times farther from the Earth than the Moon. This was told by a senior researcher at the State Astronomical Institute. PC. Sternberg.
“At the minimum distance from the Earth, the comet will pass on February 1, then we will be separated by only 42 million km. What brightness the comet will have at the time of approach is very difficult to predict. It can be assumed that the brightness of the comet will reach +5 - +4 magnitude, and the length of the gas tail is more than 10 ° - the size of the Ursa Major bucket. And this means that in the absence of urban illumination, it can be seen even with the naked eye, ”the comet will not collide with our planet.
Comet C / 2022 E3 (ZTF) is named after the installation for detecting transient objects named after. Zwicky transient facility, with which in March 2022, astronomers received the first images of a previously unknown object. C/2022 E3 (ZTF) belongs to the class of long-period comets. Since its first discovery, the comet has significantly increased its brightness. It moves along the constellation Bootes - the never-setting constellation of the northern hemisphere. At present, the comet can be seen in the predawn sky as a pale blur, but this requires a telescope.