A giant comet — nearly twice as large as the planet’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest — is headed toward Earth and the inner solar system, according to one. report good by BGR.
The comet is named C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) and before you even think about passing by this massive rock, you’ll be glad to know that it poses no threat to us.
The comet is expected to make its closest approach to Earth around July 14, 2022. Although astronomers do not know exactly how close the comet will get to our planet.
The comet was first observed in 2017 as it headed toward Earth and the inner Solar System in 2017 with the help of the Pan-STARRS survey instrument based out of Hawaii.
At the time of its discovery, K2 was 2.4 billion km from the Sun, which is 16 times more distant from the Sun than Earth. At that time it was moving somewhere between Saturn and Uranus. The most recent path the comet has taken, however, is from the Oort cloud toward Earth and the inner Solar System.
This comet is an interesting opportunity for stargazers and astronomers. Due to the massive size of the comet as well as its bright and active nature, you will be able to see the comet with the help of a small telescope.
According to EarthSky.OrgObservations from the Hubble Space Telescope indicate that the comet’s nucleus is about 18 kilometers across. Mount Everest is 8,849 meters tall, which makes this comet twice as big as the tallest mountain on Earth.
Also, you will be surprised to know that even though C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) is quite large, it is not the largest as seen by Earth. That record is still held by C/2014 UN271 which also comes from the Oort cloud. However, astronomers do not really know its activity.
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