RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Are you ready for a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event? Sky gazers in central North Carolina will have the opportunity to witness something that hasn’t been seen in 50,000 years starting on Thursday night.

Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF, discovered last March, will be visible to the naked eye starting Thursday and lasting through early February. This comet is unique in that it has a green hue to it, making it a truly spectacular sight.

The comet, first discovered by astronomers Frank Masci and Bryce Bolin using the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) at the Palomar Observatory in California, has been rapidly approaching its closest point to Earth, known as perigee.

This has made it easier to spot in the night sky and has been brightening since November, wowing astrophotographers with its brilliant green tail.

The comet’s path will bring it relatively close to Earth, making it an even more exciting opportunity for scientists to study the materials of the comet and learn more about the early days of our solar system. On February 2, it will only be about 27 million miles away from Earth.

For the best viewing experience, grab a pair of binoculars and look up at the sky late at night before the dawn.

Doug Lively, Public Relations Coordinator of the Raleigh Astronomy Club, advises gazers to “look at that corridor that’s between the little dipper and the big dipper you should see a green dot that’s not been there before.”

If you have trouble figuring out where to look in the sky, don’t worry! There are plenty of stargazing apps available that will map the sky above you and guide you in the right direction.

Local photographer, Stephen Wills, recently captured these photographs of the comet from Raleigh.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to witness something truly unique.

Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF is a once-in-a-lifetime event that is not to be missed. So, grab your binoculars, download a stargazing app, and head outside to catch a glimpse of this incredible green comet before it passes by central North Carolina!