The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) displayed images of Comet C/2022E3 on Tuesday, taken by a Thai photographer from the top of Doi Inthanon mountain in Chiang Mai on Sunday, between 4am and 5am as it reached its perihelion.
Comet C/2022E3 was discovered by the Zwicky Transient Facility in California on March 2nd, 2022. The last time it passed near the sun was 50,000 years ago. Now, as the comet returns, it could be the brightest comet of 2023.
NARIT said that the images show the three tails of the comet, which will appear to lengthen over the next couple of days, adding that, from the perspective of star gazers on Earth, the longest tail points towards the sun, opposite the two shorter tails.
On February 2nd, the comet will reach its closest point to Earth (about 44 million km away). At that point, it will still be more than 100 times further away than the moon. Late January is an optimum time to view this fuzzy, icy visitor from the outer solar system.
NARIT said that, on February 1st and 2nd, the comet is expected to be bright enough to be seen with the naked eye from a dark-sky site before sunrise.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service