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Kansas City area teenager takes a photo of the historic Green Comet

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City-area teenager captured a historic astronomical event on his camera this week.

The Astronomical Society of Kansas City said one of its youngest members, 15-year-old Arsalaan Syed, of Overland Park, Kansas, captured comet “C/2022 E3 (ZTF)” at the Powell Observatory in Louisburg on Thursday. after 11:30 pm through his telescope, an 8-inch Celestron, using his iPhone camera.

The green comet was first discovered in March 2022 by astronomers using the Wide Field Survey Camera at California’s Zwicky Transient Facility.

The comet last passed through our solar system a little over 50,000 years ago, and it reached its perihelion (or closest point to the sun) on January 12, when it was within 100 million miles from the sun, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

On Feb. 2, the comet will be about 26 million miles from Earth. This is the closest that has come since the Upper Paleolithic era, a time in human history when Homo sapiens are believed to have left Africa and settled in Asia and Europe.

NASA said that in the northern hemisphere the comet will be visible in the morning towards the northwest. In February, it will move below the horizon and become visible in the southern hemisphere.

Spectators may be able to see the comet with the naked eye, but binoculars or a telescope are recommended.

The comet is named after the place where it was discovered (Zwicky Transient Facility) and the year it was discovered (2022). Since it was discovered in the early part of March, or the fifth “half month” of the year, it was designated E, the fifth letter of the alphabet. Finally, it was the third object discovered that half month, hence “E3”.

Learn more about the Astronomical Society of Kansas City or how to become a member here.

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