Welcome to our new web site!
To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.
During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.
The Astronomical Society of Las Cruces (ASLC) will hold an outreach event at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the ASLC observatory at Leasburg Dam State Park, 12712 State Park Road in Radium Springs.
“One of the observing targets, in fact the ‘star’ of the show, will be the so-called green comet that is currently in our dark skies,” said former ASLC President Ed Montes.
The comet will be in close proximity to Mars, he said.
“Other objects in the sky include Venus, Jupiter and a variety of star clusters and nebulae,” Montes said. “We will also be commemorating the 10th anniversary of the observatory by naming it after one of our co-founders, Walter Haas,” Montes said.
C/2022 E3 (ZTF), known as the green comet because of the green color it derives from its gas molecules, was discovered in 2022, according to multiple internet sources. ASLC’s viewing will be as the comet appears close to Mars in the sky. The comet was closest to Earth Feb. 1, when it was 26 million miles away, Montes said. It will be 50,000 years before it is this close again, he said.
The comet’s official name comes from “C” to indicate it is a non-periodic comet, taking more than 200 years to orbit the sun; it was discovered in 2022 at Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) in San Diego County, California.
ASLC was founded in 1951 by Clyde Tombaugh – who discovered Pluto in 1930 – and other area astronomers.