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Super Rare Green Comet Flies Over Bay Area

For the first time in 50,000 years, see the rare comet at a free telescope viewing at the Chabot Observatory
By - posted 1/28/2023 No Comment

A comet that has been out of sight for millions of years will be visible this weekend and next from Oakland, according to the Chabot Space and Science Center.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will make an appearance for the first time since the Stone Age and will be visible with binoculars or a telescope. The best time for viewing will be after 9 p.m.

Comet gazers can see it in the sky between the Big Dipper and the North Star in the Little Dipper. Light pollution will prevent the comet from being captured by the naked eye.

You will have the opportunity to view the comet for free in Oakland at Chabot Space and Science Center’s Observatory Deck or in San Francisco at a public city star party at the Presidio Parade Grounds with the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers on January 28, 2023.

San Francisco | January 28
Come join the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers for free public stargazing of the Moon, planets, globular clusters and more! Dress warmly. Due to the pandemic, social distancing and masks are encouraged, but not required. Rain, heavy fog and overcast skies cancel. Check the SFAA website for a cancellation notice before leaving for the star party.

Oakland | Jan. 27-28 & Feb. 3-4
Visitors to the Chabot Space and Science Center in the Oakland hills can get a glimpse of the flying object for free via one of the center’s telescopes Friday or Saturday night this week and next week.

Viewing hours are 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The center is located at 10000 Skyline Blvd. in Oakland.

Every Friday and Saturday Night, weather permitting
Chabot Observatory Deck
7:30-10:30 p.m.

Join Chabot astronomers on the Observatory Deck for free telescope viewing. Weather permitting, this is a chance to explore stars, planets and more through Chabot’s historic telescopes. Chabot’s three large historic telescopes offer a unique way to experience the awe and wonder of the Universe. Our observatory deck offers breathtaking views 1,500 feet above the BayThree observatory domes house the Center’s 8-inch (Leah, 1883) and 20-inch (Rachel, 1916) refracting telescopes, along with a 36-inch reflecting telescope (Nellie, 2003). 

Are the skies clear for viewing tonight? Viewing can be impacted by rain, clouds, humidity and other weather conditions. Conditions can be unique to Chabot because of its unique location in Joaquin Miller Park.

Before your visit:

Chabot houses three telescopes on its observatory deck. Nellie, Chabot‘s most powerful telescope, is a 36-inch reflector telescope, housed in a rolling roof observatory that allows access to 180 degrees of sky. This modern, research-quality telescope offers breathtaking views of the cosmos.

The impressive 20-inch telescope, named Rachel, is the largest refractor in the western United States regularly open to the public. Its companion, the 8-inch Alvan Clark refractor, named Leah, is the original 1883 instrument donated by founder Anthony Chabot.

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