Green Comet - C2022 E3

Closest to Earth on February 2nd

A once in a lifetime opportunity and how to photograph it!

We’re still only in January but 2023 is shaping up to be a brilliant year for stargazers! We’ve already been spoilt with a meteor shower and now this week we’re set for a once in a lifetime view of the green comet known as C2022 E3. The last time this comet passed by Earth was 50,000 years ago!

From now until early February this green comet will be visible in the night’s sky. As the comet becomes closest to Earth on February 2nd it will be best viewed with the naked eye just before dawn towards the north-east horizon where it will appear as a bright white smudge in the sky. If you’re wanting to try and catch a glimpse of it’s green tinge, then be sure to grab your binoculars or telescope!

If you want to try your hand at photographing this Comet, keep reading for our top tips!


Selecting your Camera Gear

As this comet will be visible to the naked eye, you’re not going to need a big telescope to be able to photograph it. It’ll actually be possible with a standard lens or telephoto (think along the lines of a 24-70mm, 70-200mm or larger telephoto if you have one). The key here is actually going to be your lens aperture, as you’ll be shooting in low light, the wider the aperture the better!

Make sure you’ve also got your tripod and cable release or remote to trigger your camera with you too.


While any photograph you capture of this comet is going to be amazing, try thinking about your composition while you’re out. Adding a foreground subject can really help elevate the shot, adding a human element to the frame, using it to add a sense of scale or just having something there to help frame the comet itself are just some of those benefits.

However you choose to frame your shot just keep in mind that you want to shoot wide enough to leave room for the comet’s tail which isn’t always visible to the human eye.

Camera Settings

Use these as a guide until you find the settings that work for the conditions you’re shooting in.

Aperture – open this as wide as your lens will allow.

ISO – the setting you choose here will be dependant on a few factors, mainly the time of night you’re out shooting and how much light pollution is around you. A good starting point would be to try around ISO 800 – 2500 and then adjust based on results.

Shutter Speed – this is where it’ll start to get a bit trickier as the Earth’s rotation will stop us from capturing too long an exposure. Stick to a maximum exposure time of 30 seconds to avoid the blurring caused by that rotation and remember you can take multiple shots and stack them in post-production if you want to enhance the details captured.

You might even find that shooting for 1-5 seconds is enough, so it’s worth playing about a bit to find out!

Focus – make sure your camera/lens is set to manual focus and infinity.

One final thing to note, is that if you’re using a tripod make sure you turn off your camera/lens image stabilization to ensure you get super steady shots!

And there you go! Now all that’s left is for you to get out there, have fun and enjoy capturing this once in a lifetime moment!

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