Numerous telescopes and scientific teams discover comets that make their first recorded appearance. With all these discoveries, several stand out and may even find their way to being visible to the naked eye. These beautiful sights can stay visible to telescopes for long periods, while others may take decades before their return. Here are the most notable new comets of 2022:

A1

The A1 comet was the first discovered in the year. Hungarian Krisztian Sarneczky found the comet through the Piszkesteto Observatory. The last time a comet made the same achievement was 36 years ago. This comet moves fast and orbits the sun opposite to the earth. At first, the thought was that it was another planetary body until scientists discovered its movement was similar to a comet.

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It’s believed that this comet only made a short pass through our solar system and will likely not return for thousands of years. The closest it came was around 47.6 million kilometers away. Most comets usually have a distance of 750 million kilometers upon discovery.

 

ZTF

Comet ZTF will be unlike the short space romance that the A1 brings, as it will be visible to telescopes until 2023. It’s moving on a slow journey since its discovery, and is in a well-placed position for observers to view. It’s hovering at a dim magnitude of 14-13, but that may change next year.

The expectation is that its closest earth approach will come on February 2, which increases its magnitude to 6.5. That means it will be visible to the naked eye in darker areas, while others may need binoculars to view it. For now, it will remain in the Corona Borealis constellation, staying there up until January 2023.

The name comes from the facility that discovered it, the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) in California. They first found the comet in March 2022.

P1

The P1 is a comet one could see in the Northern Hemisphere sky during nighttime this November. It’s fairly bright at around 10th magnitude. However, it reached its closest earth approach back in October. One can still see traces of it there today.

Scientists estimate that the P1 will move toward the south hemisphere, where it may become more visible. It moves around the earth every 60 years in a retrograde orbit. The satellite NEOWISE was the first to discover it back in August.

U2

The U2 comet will be at its most visible in December 2022. It was first discovered by the ATLAS team early in November and is said to be one that only passes earth every 1000 years. However, its size and distance make it a faint comet. According to scientists, the brightest we can expect is at 16th magnitude, meaning it will take a powerful telescope to view it in the night sky.

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Vincent Roy has been writing about gaming, crypto, and geek culture since 2012. He loves staying up-to-date with the latest in board games, collectibles, and video games. During his free time, he is either trading the forex market, or hosting a Dungeons & Dragons game among friends.