Some of the world’s problems include inflation, pandemics, and oil crises. Recent reports, however, indicate that a massive comet twice the size of Mount Everest is on its way to Earth. Comet C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) has already entered our solar system, so it will soon be visible with a simple telescope.
The best time to see it is on July 14, 2022, when it will be closest to Earth. Specialists expect a super moon on July 13, which may light up the sky, allowing you to see it now when it’s completely dark.
How big is the nucleus of this comet?
There is still a lot of uncertainty about the nucleus of the comet. According to NASA solar system ambassadors Kelly Kizer Whitt and Eddie Irizarry, it will be between 18 and 161 kilometers (11 and 100 miles) wide.
It will be one of the largest comets discovered so far, alongside Bernardinelli-Bernstein and Hale-Bopp. Unfortunately, it will not get close enough to determine such details; even at its closest, the distance would be the average distance between Mars and Earth.
The gas and dust trail left by C/2017 K2 is estimated to be between 130,000 and 800,000 kilometers (81,000 to 500,000 miles) long.
Comet PanSTARRS may sound familiar because there are a lot of them. Pan-STARRS is a sky survey that looks for new supernovae, asteroids, and comets, as well as other celestial objects. The first Pan-STRRS discovery was C/2017 K2, which was 2.4 billion kilometers long (1.49 billion miles)
Observable with a telescope
C/2017 K2 will travel 270 million kilometers (168 million miles) from Earth. It won’t be visible to the naked eye, but it should be visible through a good telescope.
You can also host some entertaining parties using public online observatories such as the Virtual Telescope project. After passing Earth in July, the C/2017 K2 will continue on its path to perihelion, the sun’s closest approach.
Although it is unknown how it will behave near the sun, it may become more active and bright, or it may completely disintegrate and disappear, leaving nothing but a dust trail.
Do you have any thoughts on this article? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
I’m sure you’ll find this article interesting as well.