Comet ZTF Featuring Two Ion Tails While Crossing in Front of a Galaxy in a Colorful Starfield

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The image shows a close-up view of Comet c/2022 E3 (ZTF) during 24th January 2023. Besides the wonderful greenish coma from glowing carbon gas the image reveals a rare anti-tail due the fact that planet Earth was crossed the orbital plane of Comet ZTF showing the tail in perspective and immersed in a colorful starfield. One thing I noticed from the previews nights, is the low angle of the frontal tail compared to the images I made on 22th Janurary, as it now shows a slightly change in the angle. The comet if also featuring two distinct bluish ion tails and the white dust tail on the image, is crossing in front of a background galaxy. The comet was photographed late in the night at a distance of 59.8 million Km from Dark Sky® Alqueva Observatory in Portugal. This long distance traveller not seen in 50,000 years, is moving fast against the background starry sky, and that night it was located close to the star Edasich, from Draco constellation, showing a faint visual magnitude of +6.0. On 1st February the Comet it will be in the closest point to our planet and eventually until then, it could reach a naked eye magnitude.

PT: A imagem revela um close-up do Cometa c/2022 E3 (ZTF) durante a noite de 24 de Janeiro de 2023. Além de apresentar um maravilhoso coma esverdeada proveniente do brilho do gás carbono, a imagem revela uma rara anti-cauda devido ao facto do planeta Terra ter cruzado o plano orbital do Cometa ZTF mostrando assim a cauda em perspectiva e imersa em um campo estelar colorido. Um pormenor que notei em relação às noites anteriores, é o baixo ângulo da cauda frontal (anti-cauda) em comparação com as imagens que fiz na noite de 22 de Janeiro, pois agora mostra uma pequena mudança nesse ângulo. O cometa, também apresenta duas caudas de iões azuladas e distintas e a cauda de poeira branca, na imagem, esta a cruzar-se em frente a uma galáxia visível em pano de fundo. O cometa foi fotografado no final da noite a uma distância de 59.8 milhões de Km a partir do Observatório Dark Sky® Alqueva em Portugal. Este viajante longínquo que não se avistava há cerca de 50.000 anos, move-se muito rapidamente contra o fundo do céu estrelado, e naquela noite estava localizado próximo à constelação do Dragão, mostrando uma fraca magnitude visual de +6.0. A 1 de Fevereiro o cometa estará no ponto mais próximo do nosso planeta e eventualmente até então poderá atingir uma magnitude visível a olho nu .

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 77 lights | Total integration: 256 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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