For the first time in 50,000 years, a green comet is approaching Earth.
A bright green comet named C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will pass by Earth's orbit for the first time in 50,000 years, and it may stay for a month.
Courtesy: Mike Hankey
According to NASA, the icy visitor was first spotted in March 2022 while orbiting Jupiter.
Beginning Thursday, those in the Northern Hemisphere could see it through binoculars as a small green glow.
According to scientists, it will be closest to Earth on February 2nd.
"Comets are notoriously unpredictable, but if this one maintains its current brightness trend, it'll be easy to spot," NASA said earlier this month on its blog.
"Under dark skies, it's possible it could become visible to the unaided eye,"
The icy celestial body is known as C/2022 E3 (ZTF), which is a "mouthful of a name." According to NASA, - will make its closest approach to the sun on January 12th, followed by its closest approach to Earth on February 2nd.
Dan Bartlett, a retired high school science teacher and astrophotographer, has been photographing the comet from his cabin near Yosemite National Park in California, and describes looking up at the sky as a "humbling" experience.
"I guarantee you'll see something if you use binoculars and a dark location. Bring your friends and you will all see something once in a lifetime "Mr. Bartlett stated to the BBC.
He keeps two "pretty impressive scopes" on his June Lake porch, and the clear nights and dark skies allow him to capture the stunning photos.
"When you have a lake or ocean system around you, the airflow becomes smoother. Smoother airflow causes the stars to twinkle less, allowing you to see more details "He elaborated.
According to the Planetary Society, it will be about 26 million miles (42 million kilometres) away from the planet at that point.
The comet will appear as a "faint, greenish smudge in the sky" to observers in the Northern Hemisphere without a telescope, but those with a telescope will be able to see the comet's dramatic visible tail, according to the Planetary Society.
Observers in the Northern Hemisphere will see a bright green glow in the morning sky as the comet moves northwest during the month of January. According to NASA, those in the Southern Hemisphere will be able to see it in February.
According to NASA, "The comet isn't expected to be as spectacular as the 2020 Comet NEOWISE, which was the brightest comet visible from the Northern Hemisphere since 1997, but it's still "an awesome opportunity to make a personal connection with an icy visitor from the distant outer solar system,"