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Comet sighting inbound

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale
Comet sighting inbound
BLAZING A TRAIL. . . Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF, captured in the sky by Chris Hornby

A ONCE in a lifetime moment is fast approaching, as a comet will be visible to the naked eye in the sky for the first time in 50,000 years.

And a keen astronomer from Annan is urging everyone not to miss the occasion on February 1 and 2.

The last time that Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF passed by the Earth, Neanderthals were still alive.

And while the comet has already veered as close to Earth as it could, on January 12, it will fly closer to the sun and be visible without the need of a telescope next month.

Explaining more, engineer Chris Hornby, from Annan, whose hobby is astrophotography, said: “When I first spotted the comet through my telescope, I made sure to take a picture of it.

“At the time, it was in the north eastern part of the sky, and around 26 million miles away from the Earth.

“While pinpointing exactly where the comet is going to be at the start of February is difficult, it shouldn’t be too difficult to miss.

“Since the comet is going to be closer to the sun, it will be far easier to spot even without a telescope. Some astrologists have even said it will glow as bright as the moon.

“It’s definitely something you can only ever see once.”

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