People are fuming that they missed the 'once-in-a-lifetime' green comet

People are fuming that they missed the 'once-in-a-lifetime' green comet
Rare green comet flies through the sky in Alabama

Amateur astronomers across the country waited with baited breath on Wednesday night (February 1) to see a green comet which flew past Earth for the first time in 50,000 years.

Only, the UK was completely covered in cloud and most people were unable to see anything.

Many were left disappointed after gathering to try and spot the C/2022 E3 (ZTF) comet, which is making a return to our skies after a very long time away indeed.

It made its closest approach to Earth after passing 42 million kilometres away in the early hours of Wednesday.

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It’s the closest the green comet will come in our lifetimes and should have been visible to the naked eye.

However, the weather didn’t get the memo and the extensive cloud cover overnight left many people angry on social media.

The comet will be at its most visible on Wednesday, but it will be possible to still see it later in the week.

Frustratingly, though, the cloud which prevented people seeing it is expected to stay. The latest forecasts from the Met Office show the whole of the UK and Ireland covered in cloud on Thursday and Friday evening.

The good news is the cloud will be almost completely clear on Saturday night, offering great views of Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Despite the weather, the comet's brightness has been estimated to be at a magnitude of about +6 – almost the threshold of what can be visible to the naked eye – and is also expected to be the brightest piece of space rock to zoom past Earth this year.

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