Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy Green Comet E3
Photo credit: Andrew McCarthy
Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy attempted to capture the ‘green comet’, also known as Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), last week, and the result was a stunning image worthy of printing. Since the comet is not as bright as Neowise or Leonard, it could not be seen with the naked eye, but all it took was a single 60” exposure to reveal the bright glowing comae and its long dust tail.



Even with a good telescope, capturing the comet in this quality was a challenge for McCarthy due to the abnormal hazy/ humid conditions in the desert that night. The black and white version you see above is the raw image, which meant a lot of post processing was required to achieve the end result. The last time C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was visible to the naked eye was 50,000-years ago, so if you want the chance to observe this phenomena your best bet will be at the end of this month to early February. For an even better chance, use a pair of binoculars and a stargazing app to pinpoint its location on clear nights.

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Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy Green Comet E3

Getting the image to look this good took a lot of time processing the data, to get rid of noise, blotches from clouds, and nasty light pollution from a nearby streetlight. If you saw the raw image you’d be surprised this is what ended up coming out of it,” said McCarthy.

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