Watch a comet make its closest approach in 50,000 years online

Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF photographed from Rome, Italy on Sept. 12, 2022.


A comet discovered just last year will make its closest approach to the sun next week, offering an excellent opportunity to view it.

Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF was discovered in March 2022 by astronomers at the California Institute of Technology’s Zwicky Transient Facility when it was 397 million miles (640 million kilometers) from the sun. Astronomers initially believed C/2022 E3 ZTF to be an asteroid, but its coma, the cloud of ice and dust surrounding its nucleus, was observed soon after. By December 2022, the comet had developed a long tail as it was warmed by the sun.