Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) shines brightly as it is closest to the Sun in this stunning image

Miguel Claro (will open in a new tab) is a professional photographer, writer and science evangelist based in Lisbon, Portugal who creates spectacular images of the night sky. As photo ambassador for the European Southern Observatory (will open in a new tab) and member of The World At Night (will open in a new tab) and the official astrophotographer of the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve. (will open in a new tab), he specializes in astronomical “skyscapes” connecting the Earth and the night sky. Join Miguel as he shows us his photo “Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) at perihelion, showing a glowing greenish coma and a long ion tail.”

The image shows a close-up of Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) at perihelion when it was closest to the Sun on January 1st. 12, 2023.

This photo shows the comet’s wonderful greenish coma due to glowing carbon dioxide and a long tail formed by ions ejected from the comet’s icy core.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was photographed late at night at a distance of 108 million km. [67 million miles] from Dark Sky Alqueva (will open in a new tab) Observatory in Portugal two hours before astronomical twilight.

Related: How to see the green Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) visible in the night sky now as it approaches Earth

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) taken by Miguel Claro in Portugal. (Image credit: Miguel Claro)

This trucker, which has not been seen for 50,000 years, is moving rapidly against the starry sky, and on the night the photo was taken, it was between the constellations of Hercules, Northern Corona and Bootes, showing a faint visual magnitude of +7.3.

Although the comet will be at its closest point to our planet on February 2. 1 (known as perigee) and may eventually reach naked-eye magnitude until then, such objects are quite unpredictable and we never know what surprises might be in store for us.

To capture this image, I used an F/5 Takahashi FSQ-106ED telescope on an EM200 mount, automatically controlled by the Asiair Pro camera’s Wi-Fi controller. In addition to this, I had a modified Nikon D850 DSLR set to ISO 2500.

I took several sub-exposures of 180 seconds for a total of 29 images, which were then combined for a total integration time of 87 minutes (or about 1.5 hours). Image processing was carried out in PixInsight 1.8.9-1 and Photoshop CC 2023. All images were obtained from the Koumeada Observatory in the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve, Regengos de Monzaras, Portugal.

Want to see comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) up close or try your hand at photography? Be sure to check out our guides to the best telescopes and the best binoculars that might help. Be sure to also check out our guides on how to view and photograph comets, as well as our best astrophotography cameras and best astrophotography lenses to get you started.

To see more of Miguel Claro’s work, visit his website. (will open in a new tab) or follow his Instagram stories at (will open in a new tab).

Editor’s Note: If you take some great photos of comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) and would like to share them with readers, please send your photos, comments, name and location to spacephotos@space. com.

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