Comet ZTF: Orbital Plane Crossing
Image Credit & Copyright: Dan Bartlett
Explanation: The current darling of the northern night, Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF is captured in this telescopic image from a dark sky location at June Lake, California. Of course Comet ZTF has been growing brighter in recent days, headed for its closest approach to Earth on February 1. But this view was recorded on January 23, very close to the time planet Earth crossed the orbital plane of long-period Comet ZTF. The comet’s broad, whitish dust tail is still curved and fanned out away from the Sun as Comet ZTF sweeps along its orbit. Due to perspective near the orbital plane crossing, components of the fanned out dust tail appear on both sides of the comet’s green tinted coma though, to lend Comet ZTF a visually striking (left) anti-tail. Buffeted by solar activity the comet’s narrower ion tail also streams away from the coma diagonally to the right, across the nearly three degree wide field of view.
Tomorrow’s picture: over the mountain
图像提供与版权: Dan Bartlett
说明: 这幅摄于美国加州六月湖幽暗天空下的望远镜图像，主题是目前北半球夜晚的宠儿─C/2022 E3 ZTF彗星。随着ZTF彗星往2月1日最靠近地球的位置前进，这颗彗星近来变得愈来愈明亮。由于这幅图像系摄于1月23日，取像的时间很接近地球穿过长周期彗星ZTF轨道面的时间点。因此于图像中，在轨道上飞掠的ZTF彗星，其宽广的泛白弯曲尘尾看似指离太阳。此外，从这个邻近彗星轨道面穿越点的视角，开展如扇的尘尾分落在彗星泛色彗发的两侧，让ZTF彗星看似曳着引人注目的反彗尾。而受到太阳活动冲击的此彗星之细窄离子尾，则从彗发斜向右上泛流，在视野里绵延了将近3度。
明日的图片: over the mountain