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Largest Object Comet K2 After Passing Mars Is Now Approaching Earth. Will It Collide With Earth? Checkout Here!

The cosmic object, named C/2017 K2, was photographed by amateur astronomer Jose J. Chambo on June 20, 2022.The comet shows strongly in the wide-field telescopic image among the open star cluster IC 4665 and the star Beta Ophiuchi. The comet’s wide coma and expanding tail are also vividly seen.

In May 2017, astronomers discovered this comet for the first time. After departing the faraway Oort cloud, C/2017 K2 is travelling towards our inner Solar System. According to Nasa authorities, it was the most distant active inbound comet ever discovered at the time.

According to Hubble Space Telescope measurements, the comet contains a massive nucleus that is less than 18 kilometres in diameter. It will make its closest visit to Earth on July 14 and its closest proximity to the Sun in December.

Just one week ago, we learned when we would be able to see the much anticipated Comet C.2017 K2, and NASA has confirmed that its appearance is on schedule because it has recently reached the inner solar system. The comet is larger than past asteroids that wreaked havoc on Earth. Now that the comet has passed through Mars, it is on its way to Earth.

The comet, which is making its first visit to our solar system, has caught scientists’ interest as they wonder how a comet with an 18-kilometer-wide core can still be active. The anxieties stem primarily from the possibility of a collision with the Earth. Given that it is larger than the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, mankind would not stand a chance. So, when is it coming to Earth, and should we be concerned?comet k2

After Passing Mars, Comet K2 Is Approaching Earth

“On its maiden journey to the inner Solar System from the faint and distant Oort cloud, this comet PanSTARRS was first observed over five years ago, in May 2017,” said the author of Comet K2. The comet was detected when it was 2.4 billion kilometres from the Sun, making it the most distant active inbound comet ever discovered. This places it between the orbits of Uranus and Saturn.

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NASA gave facts about the comet as well as the date when it will be closest to Earth, further detailing its own research of the comet. “Hubble Space Telescope observations revealed the comet had a massive nucleus smaller than 18 kilometres in diameter,” it continued. C/2017 K2, which is now visible in tiny telescopes, will make its closest approach to Earth on July 14 and its closest approach to the Sun in December. Its extensive coma and expanding tail may be observed here at a distance of 290 million kilometres, or 16 light-minutes.”

Here’s How to Observe a Giant Comet That It’s Visible

After nightfall, the comet can be seen with binoculars in the southern sky. The finest viewing is done away from city lights, in the countryside. C/2017 K2, according to NASA, is “making its inaugural trek to the inner Solar System from the faint and distant Oort cloud.”

When it was detected, the comet was the most distant active incoming comet ever discovered. It was discovered approximately 1.5 billion miles from the sun, between Uranus and Saturn. According to Hubble, the huge snowball is around 12 miles across. The tail visible using binoculars is approximately 180 million miles away.

Distinction Between an Asteroid and a Comet

What exactly is an asteroid?

“An asteroid is a small, stony object that appears as a point of light in a telescope,” Dr. Ryan Park explains. The asteroid belt, which exists between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, contains the majority of asteroids.”

Asteroids come in a variety of morphologies, including spherical, elongated, and strangely shaped asteroids. Some asteroids have satellites of their own! Isn’t that incredible?

What exactly is a comet?

According to Dr. Park, “a comet, like an asteroid, circles the Sun, but it’s made of ice and dust.” As a comet draws closer to the Sun, its ice and particles begin to melt. As a result, when viewed via a telescope, a comet appears blurry and/or has a tail.”comet k2

“Well, asteroids are rocky, while comets are ice,” to summarise. Dr. Park explained. In fact, a comet is presently making headlines as it approaches Earth. NASA discovered a comet approaching the Earth, which can range in size from 30 to 160 kilometres. Comet C/2017 K2, discovered in 2017, is making its way to Earth from the Oort cloud.

The comet was named after the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (PanSTARRS) telescope that spotted it. However, it is also known colloquially as the K2 comet. This comet, which is travelling from the solar system’s outskirts, is projected to pass closest to Earth on July 14.

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