A green comet will be visible for the first time in 50,000 years on Jan. 12. Here's how to see it in CT.

Photo of Amy Coval
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) at night over winter forest - stock photo

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) at night over winter forest - stock photo

Anton Petrus/Getty Images

A comet that has not been seen in 50,000 years will soon appear in the night sky, and Connecticut residents may have a chance to see it.

On Jan. 12, the comet named "C/2022 E3 (ZTF)" will make its closest appearance to the sun, giving people an opportunity to spot its green light in the sky. According to space.com, the comet has not been visible from Earth since the last ice age.

As of now, there is no certainty on whether or not the comet will make a strong, visible appearance in the night sky, with NASA noting that the brightness of the comet is "notoriously unpredictable." However, the agency said the comet has gotten substantially brighter since December, which is promising for those hoping to catch a glimpse of it.

For the best chance of spotting the comet's glow, Connecticut spectators should use either binoculars or a telescope and look low on the northeastern horizon at around 11:20 p.m. on Jan. 12, according to online night sky guide In the Sky.

However, Connecticut's rainy conditions are expected to continue through Friday, Jan. 13, and these rain clouds make conditions unfavorable for seeing the comet.

The comet will continue on its path by the sun from Jan. 12 to Feb. 1, when it will then be closest to the Earth. This means that Connecticut residents trying to catch a glimpse of comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) can look for its glow with binoculars or a telescope in the morning sky during all of January, until it begins to leave Earth's view again. The Planetary Society reports there may be opportunities to see the comet with a naked eye during that period as well.