C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Celestial visitors from the edge of the Solar System.
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Christopher K.
Posts: 6145
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Post by Christopher K. »

This comet was discovered 2 March 2022, but not understood as a comet until the following night thanks to imagery from Hirohisa Sato. It got its closest to the Sun on 12 January, and will come to about forty-two million kilometers of Earth on 1 February. It is unknown whether it will ever visit again the inner Solar System, but if it will its next visit will be tens of thousands of years from now. So either way, this is our one and only chance to see it.

This object reaches thirty degrees in the northeast sky at 2:30am tomorrow morning; right now it is at approximately magnitude 6.4. Draw a line from Aldhibain to Nekkar. ZTF is about a degree-and-a-half from the midway point of that line. There have been at least two sightings via binoculars of ZTF in Baton Rouge--one near the Essen area and one near the O'Neal area. Binoculars are necessary at this time, and probably for the entirety of the comet's apparition, to increase the chance of a sighting. Have a three- to six-inch telescope? Even better. Check the "Light Pollution & Control" section for suggestions to shut off or lower the levels of excess artificial light at your viewing area.

Although as of 19 January C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is not bright enough for HRPO personnel to warrant scheduling public viewing just for the comet itself, ZTF will be available for viewing during the Lunar Occultation of Mars on Monday 30 January. HRPO will be open from 9pm to 1am Tuesday morning.

More information:
https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-n ... inoculars/
http://www.aerith.net/comet/catalog/2022E3/2022E3.html
Christopher K.
Posts: 6145
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Post by Christopher K. »

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is currently at about magnitude 5.9. A third confirmed local binocular acquisition has occurred--this time near Ramah. According to the Starry Night Pro Plus the object will reach thirty degrees altitude in the northeast at 1:39am tomorrow morning. It will be about one-and-three-quarters degrees from magnitude 3.3, K-class Edasich.

After the Highland Road Park Observatory offers its regularly-scheduled programming on Friday 27 January from 7:30pm to 10pm, it will reopen at 11:45pm as personnel will attempt to acquire a view of the comet for the public. HRPO will stay open (weather permitting) until 1:45am. It is strongly recommended that patrons bring binoculars.

More information:
https://science.nasa.gov/comet-2022-e3-ztf
Christopher K.
Posts: 6145
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Post by Christopher K. »

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is currently at about magnitude 5.7. According to the Starry Night Pro Plus the object will reach thirty degrees altitude in the northeast at 12:56am tomorrow morning. It will be about one-and-a-half degrees from magnitude 4.6, M-class RR Ursae Majoris. Sadly there will be fifty-seven percent cloud cover and high humidity according to NOAA.

The object was the subject of the 21 January APOD...
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230121.html

More information:
https://www.planetary.org/articles/how- ... 022-e3-ztf
https://www.space.com/comet-c2022-e3-zt ... oach-earth
Christopher K.
Posts: 6145
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Post by Christopher K. »

HRPO will present "Comet After Comet" on Friday the 27th at 7:30pm. The lecture is aimed at a general adult audience. High schoolers should have no problem with it; a middle schooler may have no issue if he or she has a keen interest in the specific topic. HRPO cannot guarantee that anyone under eleven will be interested. Children under six should not attend. (This lecture was postponed from 23 December.)

The lecture will include instructions to increase one's chance of seeing C/2022 E3 (ZTF) in the Baton Rouge sky.
Christopher K.
Posts: 6145
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Post by Christopher K. »

According to the Starry Night Pro Plus, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will reach thirty degrees altitude in the northeast at 12:24am tomorrow morning. It will be about three-and-three-quarters degrees south-southwest of Kochab. According to NOAA, there will be about thirty-five percent cloud cover and about ninety percent humidity.
Christopher K.
Posts: 6145
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Post by Christopher K. »

Below is the NOAA forecast for HRPO's planned viewing time of 11:45pm to 1:45am...
precipitation potential, 0%
sky cover, 41%
relative humidity, 80%
temperature, 6˚C
wind chill, 3˚C
surface wind, SE 10 km/h

Danko's Clear Dark Sky states that during HRPO's viewing time the transparency rating will be "average" (3 out of 5) and the seeing rating will be "poor" (2 out of 5).

The 27/28 January 2023 rating is...
EXCELLENT
VERY GOOD
GOOD
FAIR
POOR
BAD
Christopher K.
Posts: 6145
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Post by Christopher K. »

The comet is currently at magnitude 5.6. It will be completely dark at 7:02pm CST. At that time ZTF will be thirty-two degrees up in the north in Camelopardalis. Unfortunately NOAA also predicts over seventy percent cloud cover at that time.

C/2022 E3 ZTF has not brightened to magnitude 5.0 yet, meaning HRPO policy doesn't call for another special viewing time for it. However, it coincidentally will be up during HRPO's regular viewing times on Friday the 3rd and Saturday the 4th.
Christopher K.
Posts: 6145
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Post by Christopher K. »

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is currently at magnitude 5.3. NOAA doesn't forecast a drop below sixty percent cloud cover until 7am tomorrow morning.

The HRPO 20OGS operator for Friday night will be Professor Rob Hynes...
https://www.lsu.edu/physics/people/faculty/hynes.php

The HRPO 20OGS operator for Saturday night will be BREC Program Aide Judah Santiago...
http://www.brastro.org/photos.html#JudahSantiago

ZTF was Astronomy's Picture of the Day today:
https://astronomy.com/photos/picture-of ... ed-eye-ztf

It was also the APOD for 31 January...
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230131.html

More information:
https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-n ... c-2022-e3/
Christopher K.
Posts: 6145
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Post by Christopher K. »

When viewing begins at HRPO tonight at 8:30pm, ZTF will be sixty-three degrees up in Camelopardalis. The comet will be forty-two degrees from the waxing gibbous Moon. Alan MacRobert is stating that the comet may dim to magnitude 6.0 by 10 February. For the NOAA forecast for 8:30pm to 10pm please check the "HRPO Evening Sky Viewing, 2023" thread.

Today's APOD shows the track of Polaris and ZTF around the North Celestial Pole...
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap230203.html
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