The Fleeting ‘Green Comet’

Story posted February 3, 2023 in CommRadio, News by Cassie Baylis

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - “Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)” was visible in the sky Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, across the world.

The comet was discovered last year in early March by astronomers using the Zwicky Transient Facility. It was predicted to be the closest to Earth, passing 26.4 million miles from the planet, according to NASA.

For best visibility, it was recommended to be seen on the night of Feb. 1 into early morning, Feb. 2.

When asked, some students heard about the green-colored comet’s expected appearance, but were unable to get a view from where they were.

“I went to the gym last night, and I looked up but I didn’t really see anything,” Natalia Mohammed said (fourth-year, global international studies). “They said you have to be in a really dark area where there’s just stars.”

“Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) should be visible with binoculars and bright enough to see with the naked eye from dark areas with clear skies after moonset,” according to NASA.

The news of this green comet’s appearance flooded social media.

Manasy Motter (second-year, public relations), found out about the comet while scrolling through Tik Tok. She said her ‘For You’ page was filled with many posts about Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) and the best ways to see it.

“I think it’s cool that we’re in a day-in-age where social media can tell you about things so rapidly, too. didn’t hear about this all month, and then I heard about it like two days before,” Motter said.

While Motter discovered it on social media, she did not have the opportunity to see the green comet when it appeared in the sky.

“I was so disappointed that I did not get to see it, but I love that we have the opportunity to see stuff like this,” Motter said. “It hasn’t been around since the Stone Age.”

A green comet has not passed Earth in over 50,000 years, deeming this astronomical occurrence a unique sight never to be seen again in this lifetime.

“It’s kind of exciting to know that there’s things that happen like that in the sky, that only happen once-in-a-lifetime,” Mohammed said.

Nick Molino (fourth-year, business management), did not find out about the green comet before its occurrence.

“It’s crazy how big everything is, and we’re really just such a small part of all of it,” Molino said.

Cassie Baylis is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email