One Month of ZTF – The Green Comet in Motion Revealed in a 4k Time Lapse Video

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A long video time lapse sequence comprising 5 nights of images spread over the course of January month 2023 (Jan. 3, 18, 22, 24 and 31) shows in a 4K resolution the motion of the so called “Green Comet” c/2022 E3 (ZTF) while travelling across the night sky over Dark Sky® Alqueva official observatory, in Cumeada village, Portugal. The video reveals key moments of its incredible activity starting to feature a wonderful greenish coma from glowing carbon gas and a white dust tail, until the main Disconnection Event happened on January 18, revealing a piece of the plasma tail being uprooted from the comet’s head, and then carried away by the solar wind. But ZTF didn’t stop to surprise, and also start to reveal a rare anti-tail which gradually changed the angle position while our planet Earth was crossing the orbital plane of the Comet. Meanwhile the main Ion tail was split in two blueish ion tails visible on Jan. 24. On January 31, the Comet was close to reach the maximum approach to Earth, and the anti-tail was largely scattered in the white dust revealing a dispersion and a low angle before start to vanish in the days ahead. The comet was photographed late in the night in all the sessions, starting at a distance of 146.1 million Km on Jan. 3, until being very close to our planet on Jan. 31 at a distance of only 43.1 million Km. The long distance traveller was moving fast against the background starry sky and the video also shows a few rapid greenish meteors crossing the field of view, as well as the moment when ZTF was crossing close to a few galaxies. I did a huge effort to create this movie, capturing and processing almost 1TB of data in a total of 10h comprised in 521 final images, to try to show the path of this wonderful visitor in the mesmerising moments of rare beauty provided to us by ZTF before it starts to fade way in a long journey of 50,000 years immersed in the deepest cold and darkness of the Solar System.

PT: Uma longa sequência de vídeo time lapse compreendendo 5 noites de imagens espalhadas ao longo do mês de Janeiro de 2023 (3, 18, 22, 24 e 31 de Janeiro) mostra em resolução 4K o movimento do chamado “Cometa Verde” c/2022 E3 (ZTF) enquanto viajou pelos céus do Observatório Oficial Dark Sky® Alqueva, na vila da Cumeada, Reguengos, Portugal. O vídeo revela os principais momentos de sua incrível passagem e actividade, começando por apresentar um maravilhoso coma esverdeado proveniente do brilho do gás carbono, e uma cauda de poeira branca, até que o principal evento de desconexão aconteceu em 18 de janeiro, revelando um pedaço da cauda de plasma a ser arrancado da cabeça do cometa e depois levado para fora pelo vento solar. Mas o ZTF não parou de surpreender, tendo começado a revelar uma rara anti-cauda que gradualmente mudou o ângulo da sua posição enquanto nosso planeta Terra cruzava o plano orbital do cometa. Enquanto isso, a cauda principal de iões dividiu-se em duas caudas de iões azuladas visíveis a 24 de Janeiro. Em 31 de Janeiro, o cometa estava perto de atingir a máxima aproximação à Terra, e a anticauda apresentou uma grande dispersão na poeira branca revelando um ângulo baixo, antes de começar a desaparecer nos dias seguintes. O cometa foi fotografado no final da noite em todas as sessões, partindo de uma distância de 146,1 milhões de Km no dia 3 de Janeiro, até estar bem próximo do nosso planeta Terra no dia 31 de Janeiro com uma distância de apenas 43,1 milhões de Km. O viajante de longa distância movia-se rapidamente contra o céu estrelado de fundo e o vídeo também mostra alguns meteoros esverdeados rápidos cruzando o campo de visão, bem como o momento em que o ZTF passou “perto” de algumas galáxias. Fiz um esforço enorme para criar este filme, captando e processando quase 1TB de dados num total de 10h compostas por 521 imagens finais, para tentar mostrar o percurso deste maravilhoso visitante através dos momentos hipnotizantes de rara beleza que nos proporciona o ZTF, antes de começar a desaparecer em uma longa jornada de 50.000 anos, onde irá imergir no mais profunda escuridão gélida do Sistema Solar.


Technical details | Detalhes Técnicos

Despite the last still shots of the video which were taken with a Takahashi FSQ106 and a Nikon D850 modified, all the time lapse sequences were captured with: Canon fixed prime lens 300mm at f/3,5 + Canon 6D modified | ISO2500 – sub Exp. of 70 seconds in a total of 521 images. Mount EQ6 Pro – Auto-guiding off. Processing on PixInsight 1.8.9-1, photoshop CC 2023 and Premiere Pro 2023. Cumeada Observatory from Dark Sky® Alqueva Reserve, Reguengos de Monsaraz.


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