The green comet passing Earth on its 50,000-year journey around the sun will be near the north star on Sunday and Monday, if cloud cover doesn’t get in the way.
Gardnerville resident Ray Bertucci sent a photo he took of the comet using his gear.
“A quick moving slider-type winter system is expected to impact the Sierra and western Nevada on Sunday into Sunday night, bringing gusty ridge winds and light snowfall accumulations,” forecasters said on Thursday.
Monday should see clear skies but bitter cold for sky watching with the forecast calling for minus 2 degrees.
To get a glimpse of Comet E3 ZTF, find the Big Dipper and follow the two stars that make the end of its cup to the handle of the little dipper, which is Polaris, or the north star.
Most likely binoculars or a telescope will be required to see the comet.
The green color is caused by carbon gas released as the comet approaches the sun.
The green comet isn’t the only object flying past the Earth. Around 4:30 p.m. Thursday a 28 foot long asteroid the size of a box truck passed about 2,200 miles above the southern tip of South America.
The asteroid is too small to survive the atmosphere without breaking up, but it’s trajectory will take it safely past the Earth.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory Engineer Davide Farnocchia said it was one of the closest objects ever recorded.
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