Three views of Comet ZTF

Comet ZTF will pass its closest approach to Earth tomorrow.

What do we see in today’s NASA image?
Comet ZTF has a unique shape. In addition to the usual dust tail, ion tail and green gas plume, the bright comet visiting the solar system these days has an unusual anti-tail. In fact, this anti-tail does not guide the comet, it just overlaps the comet’s head with the dusty tail.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), this giant dirty snowball has now passed its closest approach to the Sun and will pass its closest approach to Earth tomorrow. The largest image of this triple view shows comet ZTF to the naked eye last week under a clear dark sky over the city of Cáceres in Spain.

The top image shows the comet through binoculars and the bottom image through a small telescope. This comet is visible in northern latitudes these nights, but will certainly fade and fade in the next few weeks.

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