Comet Not Seen Since The Stone Age Will Fly Through The Sky In ‘Once-In-A-Civilization’ Event

(Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP via Getty Images)

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A comet not seen since the Stone Age will streak across the night sky this month in a “once-in-a-civilization” sight, providing observers are lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

Initially believed to be an asteroid, the comet was first detected by astronomers Frank Masci and Bryce Bolin at the Palomar Observatory in Southern California in March 2022, according to  Later observations however showed the “asteroid” had a “very tightly condensed coma” – an indicator of a comet –  traveling approximately 399 million miles away from the sun, near the orbit of Jupiter, the outlet reported.

After further observation, astronomers were able to determine that the comet, dubbed C/2022 E3, had an orbit that lasted approximately 50,000 years, placing its previous journey through our solar system during the Old Stone Age, reported.

Once the comet passes near Earth, it may never be seen again. C/2022 E3 is on a parabolic orbit which means that once it travels around the sun it will likely continue into deep space and never return, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Scientists Discover Two New Minerals Never Seen On Earth After Massive Meteorite Crashes)

Seeing the comet may prove to be difficult, as NASA scientists say comet brightness varies and is difficult to predict, KXAN News stated. If the comet continues to burn as brightly as it has been, it will appear as a bright green streak in the Northwest morning sky for those in the Northern Hemisphere, the outlet reported. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, the comet will be visible in February.