A Last Charm of Comet ZTF While Reaching the Closest Point to our Planet Earth

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The image shows a close-up view of Comet c/2022 E3 (ZTF) on January 31, 2023, just a few hours before it reach the maximum approach to our Planet Earth. Still featuring the wonderful greenish-blue coma from glowing carbon gas, the rare anti-tail is now pointing towards down due the actual position in the orbital plane. The comet is now showing almost a single distinct ion tail. This was perhaps my last image of this beauty due to the full moon presence acting as a natural source of light pollution and the fact that from now on, the comet it will decrease in brightness as is starts to fade way in a long journey of 50,000 years immersed in the deepest cold and darkness of the Solar System. This cosmic portrait also reveals dozens of galaxies surrounding the Comet dust. Captured late in the night at a distance of 43.1 million Km from Dark Sky® Alqueva Observatory in Portugal. ZTF was located in the constellation of Camelopardalis, showing a faint visual magnitude of +5.4.

PT: A imagem revela um close-up do Cometa c/2022 E3 (ZTF) na noite de 31 de janeiro de 2023, apenas a algumas horas antes de atingir a máxima aproximação ao Planeta Terra. Ainda exibindo um elegante  coma azul-esverdeado proveniente do brilho do gás carbono, a rara anti-cauda está agora apontando na direcção inferior devido à sua posição no plano orbital. O cometa neste momento mostra quase uma única cauda distincta de iões. Esta foi talvez a minha última imagem desta beleza devido à presença da lua cheia actuando como uma fonte natural de poluição luminosa e ao facto de que a partir de agora, o cometa diminuirá gradualmente de brilho à medida que começa a desaparecer em uma longa jornada de 50.000 anos, onde irá imergir no mais profunda escuridão gélida do Sistema Solar. Este retrato cósmico também revela dezenas de galáxias em torno da poeira que circunda o Cometa. Captado no final da noite e a uma distância de 43,1 milhões de Km do Observatório Dark Sky® Alqueva em Portugal. ZTF estava localizado na constelação de Camelopardalis, mostrando uma fraca magnitude visual de +5,4.

Below are two still shots presented in portrait version, intended to help conduct the reader attention to the most interesting parts of the image.

PT: Abaixo estão duas fotos apresentadas em uma versão retrato com o objetivo intencional de ajudar a conduzir a atenção do leitor para as partes mais interessantes da imagem.


Technical details | Detalhes Técnicos

Taka FSQ-106ED at F5 – EM200 auto-guidedi n Asiair Pro | Nikon D850 mod | ISO3200 – Sub Exp. 200 seconds x 30 lights | Total integration: 100 minutes. Processing on PixInsight 1.8.9-1 and Photoshop CC 2023. Cumeada Observatory from Dark Sky® Alqueva Reserve, Reguengos de Monsaraz.


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