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Comet ZTF

24 January 2023

At https://spaceweather.com … on January 23rd 2023, we learn that Comet ZTF has developed an Anti-Tail  – but it is apparently, an optical illusion. They appear when earth passes through a comet’s orbital plane. The dust trail appears to point towards the sun from our position on the surface of the earth – but it really doesn’t. The dust trail is facing away from the sun as it is driven by the solar wind. However, multiple observers are reporting a surge in the comet’s brightness. It is now naked eye visible. It will get to its nearest point to earth on February the 1st, one week away. It also shed a lot of material as it passed around the sun, and that is still out there separate from the comet itself.

At https://spaceweather.com … on 24th January   we have news of an asteroid flyby this week, a 5m space rock has just been discovered – a few days ago, or less. It is predicted to come withing 3700km of South America tomorrow [this thursday night or friday morning, in the wee small hours]. This story is also at https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-11670411/ … which puts the space rock into proportion. It is half the size of the Chelyabinsk meteor of 2013 and that exploded into a fireball high in the atmosphere. It also says it is the nearest asteroid to pass earth for 300 years. We might ask – how do they know that? NASA has only been looking at them for a few years. Not only that they are ignoring the Chelyabinsk and Tunguska meteors which did explode in the atmosphere. The post also seems to have reduced the size of the incoming meteor. It is now the size of a london double decker bus.

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