Stunning image gives sneak peek at green comet passing Earth next week trends now

Stunning image gives sneak peek at green comet passing Earth next week trends now
Stunning image gives sneak peek at green comet passing Earth next week trends now

Stunning image gives sneak peek at green comet passing Earth next week trends now

A comet not seen since Neanderthals walked the Earth 50,000 years ago is returning in a week, but astrophotographers are getting a sneak peek at the once-in-a-generation ice ball.

Andrew McCarthy, from Arizona, snapped a stunning image of C/2022 E3 (ZTF), capturing the bright greenish coma and long, glowing tail.

Currently, E3 can only be seen with a telescope, but it will be visible to the naked eye when it reaches perigee at the start of February when it is 26 million miles away.

McCarthy told DailyMail.com that he spent an entire morning tracking the comet and the 'result is a stack from about 45 photos captured over a period of an hour between clouds.'

Andrew McCarthy tracked the comet for hours, snapping pictures every chance he could. The final result, which is the comet's natural colors, is a stunning image that shows its green coma and glowing tail

Andrew McCarthy tracked the comet for hours, snapping pictures every chance he could. The final result, which is the comet's natural colors, is a stunning image that shows its green coma and glowing tail

McCarthy continued to explain that there were many clouds in the sky the day he was tracking E3 and snapped photos every chance he got.

'The image actually had a lot of artifacts from the clouds and being near a streetlight,' he told DailyMail.com.

The raw image looked terrible as a result. You can see some of the artifacts from the clouds here, showing uneven patches.

'You can also see how the stars and the comet were in different positions over that hour, which also had to be corrected (which is a very complicated procedure).' 

McCarthy said he performed a lot of processing to clean up the image to get the stunning result, but the ion tail seen in the unprocessed photo 'is accurate.'

And he told DailyMail.com the color in the image is real. 

In early March, astronomers

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