A comet is approaching the Earth, which was last seen in the time of the Neanderthals

(ORDO NEWS) — Soon an object will appear in the sky , which last “visited” the Earth in that historical period, when Neanderthals still walked on its surface.

On March 2, 2022, Zwicky Transient Facility Optical Wide Field Sky Survey astronomers discovered a comet that completes one revolution around the Sun every 50,000 years.

This suggests that it was last seen during the Upper (Late) Paleolithic period, when the ancestors of modern people began to actively settle throughout Asia and Europe.

The comet, dubbed C/2022 E3 (ZTF), is currently too faint to be seen without a telescope. However, in late January and early February 2023, it will become visible to the naked eye.

The comet is currently approaching perihelion (the closest point in its orbit to the Sun), which will be reached on January 12th. It will be closest to the Earth (perigee) on February 1 this year.

However, the comet will not be as bright as, for example, C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) , which passed its perihelion on July 3, 2020. Astronomers note that the guest will look like “a spot of chalk dust on a chalkboard.”

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), thought to be an asteroid before the coma was detected, was detected by a telescope designed to detect objects that rapidly change in brightness, such as supernovae, gamma-ray bursts and neutron star collisions, as well as moving objects such as comets and asteroids.

C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will fly safely at a distance of about 44 million kilometers from Earth.


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