The green comet, also known as Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF), has been making headlines as it passes by Mars in the night sky. Discovered just 11 months ago, this comet is estimated to have a solar orbit of 50,000 years — meaning that we are the first humans to see it, and we may be the last!
The green comet is an especially good classroom topic for a number of reasons:
- The green comet can be spotted with a pair of binoculars, no expensive telescopes necessary.
- The comet is visible shortly after sunset, meaning students can catch a glimpse before bedtime rolls around.
- The comet exhibits a green hue, which helps distinguish it apart from its celestial comrades.
- From Feb 16-March 3, the green comet will be easy to locate as it passes by the Orion constellation in parallel with Orion’s bow (sometimes also called Orion’s shield).
Round out your lesson plan with the Comets and Asteroids in Action: (An Augmented Reality Experience) book, which pairs with the Lerner AR app. Not only will students learn about other famous comets and asteroids such as ‘Oumuamua, Halley’s comet, and the Tunguska and Chicxulub impacts — but they’ll also interact with augmented reality experiences, such as comparing comets and asteroids, seeing how comets were knocked loose from the Oort Cloud, and more. This hands-on approach makes learning fun and helps establish long-term memory.