Welcome to a new NPR series where we spotlight the people and things making headlines — and the stories behind them.
For one night only! Meet C/2022 E3 (her friends call her the green comet for short).
Who is she? A potentially unprecedented celestial happening. You could trade in your typical evening blue light for some green light instead. It's a connection to history and the galaxy that won't try to sell you something.
It was discovered in March 2022, and has been visible by telescope. But on Wednesday night, the comet was poised to be most visible to the naked eye in the northern hemisphere as it passed by.
This was the first time ever (or at the very least in thousands of years) that the comet would cross paths with Earth. And you got to watch!
Here’s my first effort at capturing the “Green Comet”, Comet c/2022 E3 (ZTF). This was a particular challenge due to humid conditions and clouds, but I’m thrilled I was able to capture it at all! pic.twitter.com/t2VGEnfKX8
So, what now? Your best bet to see the comet was between Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 1-2. The glow was due to be most visible against the night sky, but that might have varied based on how overcast your region was.
Spectators in the northern hemisphere may have started to see the comet's faint glow in the morning sky, according to NASA. In the following days, the southern hemisphere may get a better chance at their turn.
The comet may gain enough energy to fling out of our solar system, or it might remain bound to its elliptical orbit for another trip around the sun, says Giorgini.
You can bask in the hazy green glow, and relish in the comfort that even if you don't file your taxes in time, the green comet will still be soaring out there, for many more years.
Manuela López Restrepo is a producer and writer at All Things Considered. She's been at NPR since graduating from The University of Maryland, and has worked at shows like Morning Edition and It's Been A Minute. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Martin.