This is my last view of C/2022 E3 (ZTF), as the weather forecast is not benevolent over the next few days. However, I was delighted to see it in a clear sky. Even though the sky was magnificent, the atmosphere was moist. Everything was wet, even the back of my clipboard. The Atlantic weather systems dictate my lot, so I am always grateful when the universe gifts me a travelling comet.
The comet was in Camelopardalis on January 30th, my first observation. It had moved to Auriga by February 7th. That evening the waning gibbous moon was due to rise at 19:30. It was clear at 18:00 but not dark enough till 18:30, so there was a short window of opportunity to capture something.
Minus the moonlight on February 7th, I noticed that the central brightness had dulled. The coma was more extensive and more to one side than the other. After viewing through both eyes separately and refocusing several times, I could see some material coming from the coma.
Once again, the comet needed to be clearer to do it justice or see where its gaseous material vanished into the darkness. I looked at the star/dot of ω Auriga, and I figured I could fit about 25 or more similar dots into the width of the coma. Doing that helped me place the coma material to the right in the correct shape it offered to my eye.
Good luck this weekend with C/2022 E3 (ZTF)
Bye-bye, ancient comet, it was nice to see you. Clouds look like they will block the Mars / Comet conjunction this weekend, but ye never know. After this weekend, the comet will head down towards Aldebaran in Taurus. It will partner with the red giant visually on Valentine’s day. That would be another beautiful visual encounter for those lucky enough to have clear skies. 10X50 binoculars should still show it to your eyes if you are in a dark place. Good luck !!
By the way, at least 8 Starlink Satellites moved through my field of view on February 7th in that short time. They were distracting; therefore, they did not deserve to be in my drawing.
Handy free app for seeing if it will be clear outside in your area here