Teen captures dazzling image of rare comet only seen once every 50,000 years

After trying for weeks to capture a clear image of a newly-discovered and incredibly rare comet flying near Earth, a teenage amateur astrophotographer in Canton, Ohio managed to snap a brilliant image of it on Saturday night.

Asher Albrecht, 16, took advantage of an unexpected opportunity to photograph Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) at about 10:30 p.m. Jan. 28, and took this brilliant photo:

Asher Albrecht

His mother told News 5 that Asher had been trying all month to get a clear photo of the comet, but the perfect shot eluded him.

If you want to see and snap the comet yourself, this week is the optimal time to see it, as it passes closest to Earth on Feb. 2. Observers in the Northern Hemisphere will find the comet in the morning sky, as it moves swiftly toward the northwest.

Scientists estimate this comet only orbits our sun once every 50,000 years, so it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Comets are notoriously unpredictable, but it has reportedly been getting brighter over the last few months. It may be bright enough to see with the naked eye. It will be much easier to see with a telescope and or binoculars, though. Scientists suggest heading outside before sunrise and looking northwest toward the North Star.

The comet’s catchy name – C/2022 E3 (ZTF) — is derived from the fact that it was discovered just last year at the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) at the Palomar Observatory in California.

By Ian Cross and Katie McGraw, News 5 Cleveland.