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A comet in the sky
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How to see the green comet in Chicago

This rare phenomenon hasn't occurred since the last ice age.

Jeffy Mai
Written by
Jeffy Mai

Get ready stargazers, a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon is about to occur! A recently-discovered green comet will pass through the sky for the first time in 50,000 years and may be visible to the naked eye under the right conditions. Read on for details on how to watch this rare astronomical event.

What is the green comet?

The icy celestial object, dubbed C/2022 E3 (ZTF), is a comet with a distinct green color and streaking tails of dust particles. It’s believed that the comet hasn’t visited our solar system since the last ice age 50,000 years ago.

When can I see the green comet in Chicago?

The comet will reach its closest point to the sun on January 12. Observers in the Northern Hemisphere may be able to see it during early mornings in January, while those who are in the Southern Hemisphere can view it at the beginning of February when it makes its closest pass of Earth, which will be around 26 million miles away.

How can I see the green comet in Chicago?

You’ll likely need binoculars or a telescope, and to head to a rural area to avoid the city’s light pollution. Then look low on the northeastern horizon for the comet. If you want to watch it from home, the Virtual Telescope Project will host a livestream of the sky starting at 10pm on January 12.

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