The Green Comet — What’s the Big Deal?

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The green comet isn’t the latest superhero, but a literal comet passing by the earth. Formally named C/2022 E3 (ZTF), its nickname comes from the emerald hue.

So what’s the big deal? Comets pass the Earth all the time — why is this one all over the news? Because C/2022 E3 (ZTF) only orbits our sun every 50,000 years! This means long ago, as the now-extinct wooly mammoth made its way across the plains, the green comet could have been overhead! Even better, you might even be able to see it with your naked eye!

10+ Planetariums With Star-Gazing Opportunities

C/2022 E3 (ZTF) makes its closest approach to Earth on Wednesday and Thursday (Feb 1 & 2, 2023), at which point it will be 26 million miles from our planet. To see it, go somewhere really dark — away from light pollution — and look for a smear in the sky.

If this once-in-a-lifetime cosmic opportunity inspires you, check out these 10+ Planetariums with star-gazing opportunities (in alpha order):

Albert Einstein Planetarium
Washington, DC

Located in the National Air & Space Museum, the Albert Einstein Planetarium is one of the most technologically advanced planetariums in the country. This Planetarium’s ultra-high-definition visuals are 16 times the resolution of your high-definition television! Guests are invited to enjoy shows and opportunities that get you a little closer to the stars and beyond!


Arthur Storer Planetarium
Frederick, MD

Visitors of all ages can visit this Planetarium located at Calvert High School. In addition, during the school year, learn about the night sky during free informational and educational sessions.


Ausherman Planetarium
Frederick, MD

Located at the Earth and Space Science Laboratory, the Ausherman Planetarium has a 35-foot dome built to amaze and educate stargazers, young and old! Not only does this Chronos Hybrid planetarium system model the night sky, but it also displays 360-degree movies.


Banneker Planetarium
Catonsville, MD

Located on the campus of Community College of Baltimore County (Catonsville), the Banneker Planetarium also has a wide variety of shows and programs for students, families, and the community.


David M. Brown Planetarium
Arlington, VA

The David M. Brown Planetarium hosts weekend public programs during the school year. Plus, they offer special seasonal opportunities throughout the year; learn more and see the full schedule by visiting Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium here.


Davis Planetarium
Baltimore, MD

Enjoy a look at the stars and sky beneath the 50-foot dome of the Davis Planetarium at the Maryland Science Center! Click here to see the wide variety of opportunities available to the public.


George Mason University Observatory
Fairfax, VA

Located at George Mason University, this STEM destination gets visitors a little closer to the stars! Boasting many high-powered telescopes, including a 32″ one, the observatory offers public events and tours given by world-class astronomers, researchers, and educators.


Howard B. Owens Science Center
Lanham, MD

Operated by the Prince George’s County Public School System, the Howard B. Owens Science Center is the largest Planetarium in Maryland. It offers a variety of shows for public viewing throughout the year.


Irene V. Hylton Planetarium
Woodbridge, VA

Located on the campus of CD Hylton Senior High School, this Planetarium is home to a star projector capable of displaying more than 1,300 stars, the five visible eye planets, moon phasing, and more on a thirty-foot curved dome! Special effect projectors also create solar and lunar eclipses, aurora displays, and meteor showers. Visit their calendar to learn more about special opportunities to visit, including their annual holiday laser shows!


Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory
Washington, DC

Named for Phoebe Waterman Haas, an extraordinary woman of the early 20th century (Haas was among the first women in the United States to achieve a Ph.D. in astronomy), this public observatory is located on the National Air & Space Museum’s southeast terrace. Guests are invited to visit and even participate in stargazing opportunities using the observatory’s 16-inch telescope, which boasts its own rich history.


Rock Creek Park Planetarium
Washington, DC

Located within the Rock Creek Park Nature Center, the Rock Creek Park Planetarium uses high-tech Spitz software to project the night sky onto a large, dome-shaped ceiling. At the same time, Rangers lead guests on a journey of exploration into our solar system, galaxy, and beyond! In addition to planetarium programs, stargazing opportunities are available too.


Turner Farm Observatory Park
Great Falls, VA

Permanently mounted telescopes allow for excellent sky gazing at the new Observatory Park at Turner Farm! This roll-top observatory includes an Observation Room complete with three telescopes and a retractable roof, and an Orientation Room for educational programs. For more information on future programs, visit the Analemma Society.


William M. Brish Planetarium
Hagerstown, MD

Operated by the Washington County Public Schools System, the William M. Brish Planetarium offers the community special shows on select days; visit them online to check out all of the programs offered.


Disclaimer: Events and opportunities on this site are curated from public sources and subject to changes/cancelations that might not be reflected in’s content.

Keywords: #TheGreenComet

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