COMET ZTF 2022/E3
Finally after waiting for a hole in the clouds to see ZTF 2022/E3 I’ve visually captured the comet at 10pm tonight (Jan 30th). I didn’t expect to see the sky at all but as I was taking the dog out the clouds were fairly thin so I could see a hazy moon with Mars just to the east and my old friend Orion… so I peeked in the other direction and I could see the North Star. After consulting a skychart I could see that ZTF is about 12 degrees away from the pole (my estimate) and just east of the meridian. So I grabbed my 10x50s with a 7.8 degree FOV and went 1.5 fields just east of north from the pole and there it was, forming the southeastern corner of a triangle with SAO6401 and SAO6541. I could see the green color, but it wasn’t as pronounced as I expected. I think this primarily due to the moon being out as well as the thin cloud cover. It’s not an impressive view like Neowise, so don’t have high expectations. I could not see it naked eye, but it’s not really clear. I also couldn’t see any tail at all with 50mm binoculars. Tomorrow we’re supposed to have a few clear hours after sunset and I plan to set up a scope to get a better peek. Good luck if you’re comet hunting, it’s a tough time of year but views can be had.
Glad you got a look at it, Terri.
I rushed to get my equipment out the other night (Sunday?) to take advantage of a very big sucker hole after viewing it with binoculars. Fooled again. After 15 minutes getting everything ready to photograph it, I took the tripod and mount out and the clouds had already filled in. My fault, though, I wasn't prepared enough ahead of time.
I've viewed it a few times the past month with just binoculars (10x42 to locate it; then 20x80 on a tripod) and you're right, it really isn't as impressive as Neowise -- at least not visually. As cold as it will be tonight, I might try to capture it with a camera if the equipment can last an hour or so in the deep freeze.