Tips on how to see the “Green Comet” at Cherry Springs State Park

Picture of the theatre at Cherry Springs State Park during a starry night

picture taken by Connor Yost of Bloomsburg University

A green comet? You heard right. February 1st was the best day to go out and witness the green glow from the comet in the Northern Hemisphere.

Did you miss the chance to see the comet? Well, you’re in luck. Keep an eye open for the Red Planet because Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will reside next to Mars in the Taurus constellation from Feb. 9 – Feb. 14.

Here are some tips on how to see the comet at Cherry Springs State Park from someone who failed to see the comet, and wants you to have a better shot at it.

  1. Go to an area with Low Light Pollution
    • Research to find the best location nearest to you with little to no light pollution. For me, this was Cherry Springs State Park. If you’re surrounded by lights, even in the distance, this is going to make it very difficult for you to view the comet.
  1. Bring a Telescope or Binoculars
    • From my readings, astronomers believe that if you’re in a good location, you may be able to see the comet, but I would have a backup solution. Bring binoculars or a telescope for optimal viewing.
  1. Know Which Way To Look
    • You could have the best telescope in the world, but if you’re not pointing it in the right direction, you’ll have no chance of seeing the comet. The star chart provided by BBC Sky at Night will help guide you where you should look.
  1. Wait For The Moon To Set
    • If the moon is anything like Wednesday the 1st, you will want to wait for the moon to set. Not realizing the moon’s brightness was an issue was my friends’ and my biggest mistake. The moon was so bright that it made it hard to see the rest of the sky. And if you’re traveling to Cherry Springs State Park, there is still a good amount of snow on the ground, which we were not expecting. The bright moon reflecting on the bright white snow was not ideal for viewing the night sky, and I wouldn’t recommend traveling to the park unless you’re going to wait for the moon to set.
  1. Check The State Parks Cloud Chart
    • Even if you’re weather app reads that it’s going to be cloudy, check the Cherry Springs Clear Sky Chart. This chart is far more accurate than your weather app, and it will explain whether or not the number of clouds in the skies will obstruct your view. (In our case, the small number of clouds wasn’t a problem for viewing). The cloud chart can look intimidating but set some time for yourself to analyze and understand the chart. The chart is an excellent tool if you’re unsure of the weather.
  1. Keep a Positive Mindset
    • Even if you miss the comet, make the best of your trip! Only go to Cherry Springs State Park if you know you’re going to have fun regardless of if you see it or not. I can guarantee that Cherry Springs State Park is beautiful, and the night sky will look great even if it’s missing that once-in-a-lifetime comet with its green glow.



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