A gargantuan comet is expected to swing by the Earth the following month, and those who have access to even a modest telescope should be able to see it throughout the summer, according to Newsweek.
In 2017, the comet designated C/2017 K2 was discovered by the Pan-STARRS telescope located in Hawaii. This was followed by an observation made by the Hubble telescope in the same year.
At the time, the comet broke a record by becoming the furthest active inbound comet ever observed. It had a distance of 1.5 billion miles from the Sun, making it the farthest comet ever seen moving in that direction. It was discovered a significant distance beyond of Saturn’s orbit.
Even at that early stage, the comet had already started to create what is now referred to as its coma, which is a tail of dust that is around 80,000 miles wide. To put it another way, the comet’s cloud of dust was almost same in size to the planet Jupiter.
After five years, the comet is now considerably closer to us and to our star, and it will glide by the Earth in only a few weeks’ time. According to the website EarthSky, the comet will go rather close to our planet on July 14. This will be the day at which it will be at its closest point to us.
The adjective “near” cannot be used in this context without qualification since the comet will still be further from Earth than the planet Mars. This indicates that it is quite improbable that the comet would be visible to the human eye; but, a modest telescope should be able to detect the big ice ball, Newsweek adds.
The comet will continue its journey toward the sun during the course of this year, approaching the star at its closest point in December, they continued.
The size of the comet C/2017 K2 is something that researchers do not yet fully understand, although it is likely to be rather large. Initial observations indicated that it may be as large as 100 miles, however evidence from Hubble places its width at a considerably more cautious 12 miles or fewer.
According to the stargazing program Stellarium, people who have access to a telescope would have been able to locate C/2017 K2 near to the star Cebalrai on June 21.
This piece of software may assist in providing the precise position of objects in the night sky, allowing for it to be examined whenever it is necessary to do so to find objects like this comet, so if you’re interested in finding this comet or other again, please feel free to do so there..
According to EarthSky, when it makes its closest approach by Earth on July 14, it will be positioned in the neighborhood of the globular cluster Messier 10 at around 10:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time (11:00 p.m. Eastern Time).
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