Grab your camera, telescope, or binocular as a rare comet will begin its closest approach to Earth in February.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will be brightest on the first day of February.
PAGASA said the comet is located in the constellation Camelopardalis and will be observed at night.
“Since it is circumpolar, it becomes visible all night, reaching its highest point in the sky around 9:48 p.m.” PAGASA said in its astronomical diary for February.
“To locate this comet, find the north star Polaris as it points to the comet, 32 degrees above the northern horizon,” it added. “It will then sink towards the horizon as the sun rises the next day.”
However, PAGASA told skygazers that they need patience and perseverance, as the waxing gibbous moon may affect their observation.
“This comet may be challenging to see with the naked eye,” it said as it advised skygazers to use the telescope or binocular to see the comet.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was discovered by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at the Zwicky Transient Facility in California in early March 2022.
This is the first time it will make a close approach to Earth in over 50,000 years.
The comet is also known as the “green comet” because of its green glow coming from the comet’s coma, caused by glowing carbon gas.