Do you like the sound of the night sky? If so, you should take a look at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – or once every 50,000 years.
On Wednesday and Thursday next week, on the 1st and 2nd of February, Comet C/2022 E3, which was last seen on Earth 50,000 years ago during the stone age, will be accessible to us, and even to the naked eye.
Comet C/2022 E3 was discovered by astronomers last year at the Palomar Observatory in California. This year, we have more photos, showing it's stunning green glow, which scientists claim is due to the presence of diatomic carbon.
Since mid January, amateur skywatchers have been able to see the C/2022 E3 comet using binoculars or telescopes – it is visible in the northern hemisphere, left of the Plough constellation.
Next week, when it will be visible to the naked eye, it will go to the top of Ursa Minor, the pole star.
The C/2022 E3 comet is one of the rarest sights an astronomy enthusiast may ever see, only once per 50,000 years old.
Millions turned their heads upwards to see the Hale-Bopp comet, which has an orbital period of 4,200 years. The only comparison for the C/2022 E3 would be Comet Hyutake, which has an orbital period of around 96,000 years and was discovered a year before Hale-Bopp, in 1996.
NASA provides an image of Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)