Rare comet returns after 50,000 years – if you look up to Karlsvogna on Saturday, you can catch it – NRK Troms and Finnmark

Rare comet returns after 50,000 years – if you look up to Karlsvogna on Saturday, you can catch it – NRK Troms and Finnmark

The comet has been dubbed the cryptic C/2022 E3, and it is approaching Earth very quickly.

– I tried to look it up last weekend, but was a bit unlucky with the weather and lots of northern lights. Thus there was no success, but I will make another attempt this weekend, says the President of the Astronomy Society in Tromsø, Burg Ergens.

Saturday, January 21st would be the best time to see the comet.

Then the night sky will be darker. The comet will be visible until February 1, but after that with more light from the Moon, making it more difficult to spot.

Long trip

The comet was discovered last March. Then it was halfway through our solar system, passing the orbit of Jupiter.

NASA believes that the comet originated from Oort cloud, which is located at the far end of the solar system. The site writes that such comets travel in extremely long orbits, which means they are rarely recorded Physics Astronomy.

Comets and asteroids are leftovers from the beginning of the solar system, that is, remnants of the material from which the planets were formed. The comet is primarily made of ice, which means it gets a stronger tail the closer the comet gets to the sun.

Image: NASA

Ergens says that in earlier times comets were not seen as a positive thing.

– This was the most wonderful thing you could see in the starry sky. Unlike other celestial bodies, comets arrived at unexpected times. Ergens says one would like to think that this was a message from the gods about bad news.

He says an example of this was made about a thousand years ago.

– In 1066 you come Halley’s Comet To the inner solar system, and lit up the sky. This happened half a year before William the Conqueror invaded England, which indicates bad news for the English, says Irgens.

Burg Ergens

Burg Ergens is the leader of the Tromsø Astronomy Club.

Photo: private

Comet tail

A comet’s “tail” occurs as the comet approaches the sun. Solar radiation rips apart dust, gas and ice and creates an elongated cloud behind the comet.

The green color comes from the composition of the gases, which in this case differs from that of the most common comets.

Comet C/2022 E3 will be closest to Earth on February 1. Although it is the brightest comet visible now, you need to have binoculars to see it.

At the moment, it can be seen in an area near the well-known constellation Karlsvogna.


Comet C/2022 E3 will be here on Saturday, January 21st. Until February 1, it moves up and to the right over the constellation Karlsvogna.

Photo: Encyclopaedia Britannica/CC

– If you observe a comet through binoculars or a telescope, you will see a star that is a little more diffuse than the others. By observing it over a period of a few hours, one can see that it is moving relative to the surrounding stars.

– It gives a special feeling that this is the forerunner of the Earth and we are all, Ergens emphasizes.


Comet C/2022 E3 was discovered last March. By then he had reached the halfway point of the solar system. It has an orbit of 50,000 years, and it is one of the rarest comets to have passed Earth.

Image: NASA

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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