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Cincinnati astronomer says watching the green comet will NOT be out of this world

The green comet looks this way thanks to astrophotographers using long exposure.

Dean Regas says he doesn't want to be the bearer of bad news, but the green comet is overhyped. You know, the comet known as C/2022 E3 (ZTF) that's making its first appearance in 50,000 years.

The Cincinnati Observatory astronomer says even if you have a small telescope, the green comet will be very faint and hard to see. It will not be visible to the naked eye, he says.

Regas is trying to tamp down the media hype as the green comet passes by the Earth beginning Thursday.

He points out the pictures are from astro-photographers who take unusually long exposure photographs. This is not what the eye would see.

Still, some people might get a glance, Regas says. "This is, like, under the best circumstances — if you're sailing in a boat in the South Pacific or on a mountaintop with no lights anywhere."

For city dwellers, the astronomer says "it’s going to be almost completely invisible."

There are lots of exciting cosmic events scheduled for 2023 and 2024 but this is not one of them, he says. He will be on Focus on Technology Jan. 16 to talk about those.

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology