Comet ZTF’s antitail

Drew Evans, taken from outside Flagstaff, Arizona

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) began sporting an antitail late last month, as captured in this image from the night of Jan. 24. An antitail is a dust trail made of particles that, unlike a typical dust trail, are too large to be blown away by the Sun’s radiation pressure. By a trick of perspective, they can sometimes appear to protrude from the front of a comet; in reality, the dust mostly trails the comet, remaining in the path of its orbit. This broadband image was taken over 7.13 hours of exposure with a 2-inch refractor.