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Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) taken with ASI294MC camera and Canon 70-200mm USM L f4 lens on iOptron SkyGuider, exposure of 2 hours - north of Palm Springs, January 28, 2023 - Image credit: Tomas Chylek

Beautiful Photos of Green Comet C/2022 E3

Pasadena, CA – TMT staff interest in astronomy goes well beyond building one of the largest and most technology-advanced ground-based telescopes! Tomas Chylek, Sr. Opto-Mechanical Engineer, and Denis Zaytsev, Observatory Software QA Engineer, are also skilled amateur astronomers who spend endless nights capturing the beauty of our sky by setting up their telescopes and cameras within the darkest regions surrounding Los Angeles.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) taken with ASI294MC Pro and 135mm f2.8 tele-lens, mounted on EQ-mount, exposure of 1.5 hours - January 28, 2023 - Image credit: Denis Zaytsev

Tomas and Denis captured the rare Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) at a dark sky site north of Palm Springs on Saturday, January 28, 2023 as it was passing close to the Earth (~26 million miles away).

“ZTF was bright enough to be visible to the naked eye. It was moving across the sky in an almost circumpolar way so it could be a long imaging night, although there were constraints due to bad weather forecast,” said Denis. “Unfortunately, we missed the best time to capture the tail by a few days!” added Tomas.

The comet looks like a glowing ball with a green tail streaking across the sky. The green hue is due to the presence of diatomic carbon, which emits green light when it interacts with ultraviolet radiation from the Sun.

The comet was discovered by Caltech scientists last spring at the Palomar Observatory in California, when it was already inside the orbit of Jupiter. The last time ZTF passed by Earth was 50,000 years ago, according to NASA.

Thank you for sharing these amazing shots, Tomas and Denis!


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