# Green comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will be closest to Earth on Feb. 1. Here's how to see it.

#### davidbsimmons

I'm thinking that the statement, "the comet ... passed through the inner solar system around 50,000 years ago," is purely theoretical, not observable, not provable, not scientific.

rod

#### ecky thump

I also wondered but assume that the earths position back then was calculated???? I have seen software that pre-dicts positions on a given year.

rod

#### ecky thump

There is a skymap showing the comets position on Feb 1 and Feb 10. How am I supposed to see that map its far too small. All I can see is the moon and the comet.

#### rod

The MPEC shows C/2022 E3 ZTF with e > 1.0.
[C/2022 E3 (ZTF)
Epoch 2023 Feb. 25.0 TT = JDT 2460000.5
T 2023 Jan. 12.78452 TT Rudenko
q 1.1122515 (2000.0) P Q
z -0.0002985 Peri. 145.81519 -0.60064011 -0.07341108
+/-0.0000009 Node 302.55536 +0.33752577 +0.87940934
e 1.0003320 Incl. 109.16818 +0.72478122 -0.47037223
From 4589 observations 2021 July 10-2022 Dec. 8, mean residual 0".5. ]

e > 1.0 does not complete a closed orbit around the Sun. Others I see show e in the area of 0.999999.... with efforts to show a closed orbit around the Sun. Claiming this comet was around when Neanderthals ate the mammoths are extrapolations that appear dubious to me
Edit: 0.9999... is a barycentric e, how accurate that is remains to be seen

#### cometlove2023

To the author Robert Lea... the first picture in your article is Comet Neowise. It is not Comet ztf e3.

#### gscottwells

I'm thinking that the statement, "the comet ... passed through the inner solar system around 50,000 years ago," is purely theoretical, not observable, not provable, not scientific.

I take it math isn't your best subject.

#### MacKerbie

I'm thinking that the statement, "the comet ... passed through the inner solar system around 50,000 years ago," is purely theoretical, not observable, not provable, not scientific.
You can calculate the speed and orbital trajectory of any object in the solar system just by observing its position at two different points over a given period of time (e.g. two consecutive nights). Then it's just a matter of doing the maths. Comet C/2022 E3 had been observed for around 9 months before becoming visible to the naked eye. That has given astronomers more than enough data to provide an estimate on when it last passed through the inner solar system.

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