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Comet making its first appearance in our sky in more than 25,000 years

Sherzer Observatory on the Eastern Michigan University campus.
Bob Eccles
89.1 WEMU
Sherzer Observatory at Eastern Michigan University

A comet that hasn’t been seen in about 25,000 years is roaming the night skies this month and into the spring.

“ZTF” (C/2022 E3) was discovered last March and will be visible on a clear night until the month of April.

According to NASA, today marks the closest the comet will come to the Sun. Assuming the clouds cooperate, ZTF can be seen with binoculars or a small telescope.

Norbert Vance, the director of the Sherzer Observatory at Eastern Michigan University, says you can see it in the northern sky, but it will be brighter later this month.

“By the end of January, [you’ll] be able to watch it fly between that magical line between the pointer stars in the big dipper and our North Star. So if you have a pair of binoculars you can follow the two pointer stars in the front of the Big Dipper and up toward the North Star and if you look carefully, you may notice a little fuzzy blotch.”

If you miss ZTF over the next few months, you won’t be able to see it again for another 25,000 years or so.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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