the Caribbean Astronomical Society SAC reported that tonight the pass of a comet approaching Earth will be visible from Puerto Rico.
In a press release, SAC noted that Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) can be seen through binoculars. He also stressed that if someone did not have this equipment and wanted to see the “heavenly visitor”, they could do so with a live broadcast from the island by the SAC.
He explained that the comet “E3” will pass early tonight, a little close to the place where the North Star Polaris is observed.
He added that although the closest approach to Earth will occur on the first of February, tonight, Monday, will be one of the best opportunities to observe it.
“Although this comet requires binoculars or a small telescope to see it, for those who do not have that equipment, we will be showing it live through Facebook.com/society.astronomy “Today, Monday, it starts at seven o’clock in the evening,” the educational entity said in written statements.
During the transmission, which will be carried out by the SAC, it will be possible to see what the comet “E3” looks like from different regions of the island, and more details will be provided about the approach of the celestial visitor.
He also indicated that in another important astronomical event that will happen late Monday evening, the moon will hide the planet Mars. He confirmed that this event will not be repeated until 2035 and can be seen from the entire island.
SAC determined that early tonight, it will be noticeable that the Moon will appear very close to Mars, which appears somewhat orange.
And the organization explained that “during the passage of the night, both bodies will appear close to each other, as when the moon revolves around the Earth, our natural satellite moves to the east, approaching the area where Mars appears.”
The event begins to look most spectacular after midnight (Mon-Tuesday), looking to the west.
“From a Puerto Rican perspective, the Moon begins to eclipse Mars around 1:45 a.m. to 1:48 a.m. depending on what part of the island a person is in,” said Eddie Irizari, SAC’s science liaison.
“The event will look amazing because the region of the moon that will hide Mars will be the upper right part of the moon, which is an area of our natural satellite that will not be illuminated by the sun, which will make it easier to estimate the exact moment when Mars is hiding behind our moon.”
He explained that it would be necessary to avoid visual obstacles such as structures or trees towards the western horizon, but stressed that if we avoid these potential obstacles, it will be possible to see Mars “disappear” behind the moon before our eyes.
According to the SAC, being able to see the Moon obscuring Mars with the naked eye from a Puerto Rican perspective, is an event that last occurred on July 17, 2003, and after the event that occurred Monday through Tuesday, it will not be seen again until the night of November 10, 2035.
The occultation of Mars on the night of January 30-31 will be visible from the entire Caribbean, as well as from all of Central America, the southern tip of the United States, and even part of northwestern South America.
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