Under the influence of space weather, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) appeared in the sky when its characteristic green tail almost disappeared.
Astronomy photographer Michael Jäger took the photo Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) on January 17 after traveling 800 km from Austria to Bavaria in Germany to observe the night sky. Jäger shared the photo via the social network Twitter. According to him, when photographing comets, a photographer cannot waste time because these ice balls change extremely quickly as they approach the warmer regions of the inner solar system.
The tail of comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has disappeared under the influence of space weather.
The tail of comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has disappeared under the influence of space weather. (Photo: Michael Jäger).
The photo reveals a phenomenon that astronomers call separate event. This is essentially the fading light at the comet’s characteristic tail, making it appear as if it is about to lose its tail. This phenomenon is most likely caused by chaotic space weather, particularly stronger-than-normal solar winds released during coronal flares (CMEs). CMEs are bursts of high-energy particles originating from the Sun’s upper atmosphere (corona), moving through the system and impacting the atmospheres of planets and many other celestial bodies.
A piece of comet ZTF’s tail was blown away by the solar wind, according to SpaceWeather. com. A collision with a CME can cause the comet’s tail to separate, sometimes even completely breaking apart. Comet tails are made up of evaporated material and dust released by the comet as it heats up as it gets closer to the Sun. Although the comet itself is typically less than a few kilometers wide, its tail can extend hundreds of thousands of kilometers across the inner solar system.
Space weather. com reports that numerous CMMEs passed by comet ZTF this month as it approached Earth, coinciding with a peak in activity on the Sun’s surface. Currently, there are 8 dark streaks in the Earth-facing part of the solar disk, according to the British weather agency Met Office. Sunspots are cooler, darker areas visible on the surface of the Sun with extremely twisted and dense magnetic fields, leading to the birth of sun flares and CMEs.
C/2022 E3 (ZTF), discovered by the Zwickу Transient Facility (ZTF) at the Palomar Observatory in California in March 2022. This is the first time it has approached Earth in about 50,000 years. This comet will soon be visible to the naked eye when it flies closest to Earth on February 1.
Article source: VnExpress
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Due to the influence of space weather, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) appeared above the sky while its characteristic green tail had almost disappeared. Photography…