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The Green Comet

This February, if you look up to the skies, you may be able to catch a glimpse of a comet that only journeys past Earth once every 50,000 years. This comet is known as C2022 E3. Comets orbit the sun and are a combination of frozen gases, dust and rock.

When they get closer to the sun, they experience blasts of radiation in space which then releases gases and debris which can make the comet look green! It's the atmosphere as a result around the comet, called a ‘Coma’ that glows green

By the end of January and into early February, you can try to spot this comet in the sky. It may just look like a bright white smudge in the night sky to the naked eye, but with binoculars or a telescope, it can look green. It will be 26 million miles aways but it will burn so bright, it's visible to us which is quite exciting! The best time for us in the North of England to see the comet is to get out before dawn and look north-east at the horizon.

The Virtual Telescope Project will also be hosting a free live-stream from 4am GMT on Friday January 13th.

This really is a once-in-a-lifetime event. The last time the comet passed Earth was during the last Ice Age, and it won’t be seen again for another 50,000 years (when it restarts its orbit around the sun).


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