LaPORTE COUNTY, Ind. — While freezing in rural LaPorte County, a man was able to capture the rare “green comet” passing by Earth for the first time in 50,000 years.
Space enthusiasts like Patrick Thompson, a photographer, have been talking about C/2022 E3, more commonly known as the “green comet” for the last couple of weeks.
The comet was discovered as part of a survey that monitors the solar system looking for objects and other moving things that aren’t permanent.
Late Tuesday night, Thompson, a professional photographer by trade, packed up his equipment and set it up in Mills Creek, located in rural LaPorte County.
While battling the extreme cold, Thompson looked up early Wednesday morning and saw the something that hasn’t been seen in 50,000 years.
“You can barely make it out with your own eyes,” he said. “Binoculars made it easy. I used a telescope.”
A timelapse of the comet is below.
To capture the comet, Thompson used a modified Canon 60D camera guided by a star tracker.
“It’s a motor that spins at the same rotation of Earth,” Thompson said. “The camera it will follow the star and wherever you point it, it will follow it.”
Thompson said shortly after the timelapse, the moon’s brightness made it harder to track the comet.
“It was a pretty powerful thing to see, but it was also really cold out,” Thompson laughed. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I feel like it’s been cloudy lately.”
Scientists said the comet may be visible in the night sky through Sunday.