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Pasadena Planetary Society: Dramatic, One-In-A-Lifetime ‘Green Comet’ Flyby This Month

Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 | 5:32 am

The recently discovered “Green Comet” will fly by Earth for the first time in 50,000 years. 

The Green Comet was last visible in the night sky during the Stone Age, according to astronomers. 

According to the Planetary Society in Pasadena, “the comet will continue to be visible in early February. Look for it between Mars and the bright star Capella on Feb. 8th and near Mars in the sky on Feb. 10th.”

The object will make its closest pass by Earth between February 1 and February 2, around 26 million miles to 27 million miles away.

But even during its closest distance to Earth, the comet will still be more than 100 times the moon’s distance away from our planet, according to EarthSky.

To see it, look in the northern skies just after sunset. Without a telescope, the comet will most likely look like a faint, greenish smudge in the sky rather than a bright object, and isn’t likely to have a dramatic, visible tail. 

“But it’s still worth checking out; this particular comet takes around 50,000 years to orbit the Sun, so an opportunity to see it will only come once in a lifetime,” the Planetary Society said on its website. 

The comet has an orbit around the sun that passes through the outer reaches of the solar system, which is why it’s taken such a long time to fly by Earth again.

The comet was discovered on March 2 by astronomers in San Diego.

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