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Taipei observatory, Vtubers to greet rare comet online

01/31/2023 02:00 PM
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Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF). Photo: Dan Bartlett /Handout via Reuters
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF). Photo: Dan Bartlett /Handout via Reuters

Taipei, Jan. 31 (CNA) The Taipei Astronomical Museum (TAM) will hold an online astronomical event Wednesday night as it livestreams the flight of a comet that last passed by Earth about 50,000 years ago, the TAM said in a statement Tuesday.

The TAM said the live stream tracking the movement of the comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), expected to be at its closest to Earth on Wednesday, will begin at 7:30 p.m. on its YouTube channel, with two Vtubers from the Xtreme Deep Field Project present to provide insight into comets.

The comet is expected to be bright enough for stargazers to observe with the naked eye if there is no light pollution and will appear as a blurred luminous globe in the sky, the TAM said.

For those who want to better observe the comet, the TAM suggested that they find an open space without light pollution at midnight and use binoculars to observe the comet in the northern to northeastern part of the sky.

According to, the comet was "first identified in March 2022 by the wide-field survey camera at the Zwicky Transient Facility inside the orbit of Jupiter."

When first spotted, the comet was about 4.3 astronomical units (640 million kilometers) away from the sun and mistaken for an asteroid, but ongoing observation that detected a tail showed that it was actually a comet, the TAM explained.

It became increasingly brighter as it passed the perihelion -- the point where a satellite or an astronomical object is closest to the sun -- on Jan. 12 and will gradually lose its brightness after it passes by Earth on Wednesday, the TAM said.

(By Chen Yu-ting and Chao Yen-hsiang)


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