The astronomical photo of the day selected by NASA is once again Italian: it shows the escape of the Neanderthal comet C/2022E3 (ZTF), now far from the Earth after the February flyby, and was skilfully captured by Rolando Ligustri, programmer Friulian and real 'comet hunter' of the Italian Amateur Astronomers Union (Uai).
This new image of his is the eighteenth with which he won the coveted Apod (Astronomy Picture of The Day) award from the American space agency, a true record for Italian astrophotographers.
“I have been photographing comets for at least 30 years”, Ligustri tells ANSA.
“I took this photo because I've been following comet C/2022E3 (ZTF) since it was discovered, but especially since it made its perihelion passage on January 12th.
By now it is moving away from the Sun and returning to the depths of space, but it is still a beautiful photographic object, which I wanted to take again on March 21st because it was passing 'between' two beautiful nebulosities in the constellation Eridanus.
To photograph it I used the SkyGems robotic system which has telescopes in Namibia, Spain, Utah, Chile and also in Italy.
These systems allow, upon subscription, the remote use of excellent telescopes under marvelous skies still completely free from the light pollution which instead is rampant here”.