‘Green Comet’ captured by Kent photographer on Sheerness seafront

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A comet “last seen by cavemen” was filmed zipping through the skies above Kent.

The C/2022 E3 (ZTF) Green Comet was captured by a Sheppey astrophotographer who stood on Sheerness seafront for six hours in freezing temperatures.

Wishing to be known only as Danny K, the 34-year-old said: “I caught a comet moving through space!

“The C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will never be seen again in our lifetime and was last seen by cavemen.

“It’s quite far away, 75,422,604 kilometers away actually, and in February, when it reaches its closest point to the Earth, it will begin to move away from us and slowly disappear again.

“This ball of ice, rock and dust is releasing gases that glow green hence it’s green glow.

“It’s producing a dust trail and a separate ionised tail too.”

The Green Comet captured from Sheerness.  Picture: Danny K
The Green Comet captured from Sheerness. Picture: Danny K

The BBC’s Newsround has labeled the Green Comet as the best of 2023.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will make its closest approach to the Sun tomorrow and then on February 1, it will reach its closest point to Earth on its journey.

In countries in the Northern Hemisphere, the comet is already visible if you use binoculars or a small telescope.

But as it starts to get brighter, it could become visible to the naked eye.

The Zwicky Transient Facility in California discovered C/2022 E3 (ZTF), which is why its name has the ‘ZTF’ acronym at the end.

Danny K taking picture of the Green Comet in Sheerness.  Picture: Danny K
Danny K taking picture of the Green Comet in Sheerness. Picture: Danny K

The comet started its voyage from the Oort Cloud, a collection of icy objects on the furthest edge of our solar system.

Danny says he managed to get a glimpse of the comet on Wednesday, January 18.

He said: “It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

“I have been an astrophotographer for around five years and my astrophotography equipment cost me £3,000 but anybody can do astrophotography with a camera or a mobile phone.

“The night I took the image of the comet it was -2 degrees and I spent six hours out on Sheerness seafront to get all of the the data I needed for the video and images.

The camera used to capture the Green Comet.  Picture: Danny K
The camera used to capture the Green Comet. Picture: Danny K

“One of those videos is actually of the comet moving through space.”

The hobbyist photographer took the stunning image on a Canon M50 MKII DSLR camera and a SAMYANG 135mm Astrophotography lens.

He added: “I also belong to a Facebook page called Sheppey Astro

“On the local Facebook page we are trying to get as many people locally interested as possible and build a community while promoting the dark sky movement.

“Encouraging people to use less light at night will allow our children and future locals to be able to see the stars and space.”

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