Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF: a new image – 11 Jan. 2023
Three months after our previous image, we captured comet C/2022 E3 ZTF again, now that it is quite bright and it is reaching its minimum distance from the Sun (perihelion).
The image above comes from the average of 10, 90-second exposures, unfiltered, remotely collected with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked the apparent motion of comet C/2022 E3 ZTF, this is why stars left trails on the background. The image was processed to show both the bright region and the faint ion tail at their best.
Since our previous image, the comet evolved dramatically, developing a ion tail and brightening a lot. The past few months we had unfavorable weather, so this is our first new view after a while.
We also captured an higher resolution image, with an artificial satellite crossing the field of view; see below.
At the imaging time, a very bright (phase: 85%) Moon was high in the sky; despite such a very strong interference, comet C/2022 E3 ZTF shows a clear ion tail, as well as a broad dusty coma.
We will show this comet live, online both at perihelion and flyby with the Earth!
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