A huge comet approaching Earth that is twice the size of Mount Everest. Here’s how to view it: In July, a massive comet that is twice the size of Mount Everest will travel across Earth. This comet has entered our solar system’s inner region.
The Hubble Space Telescope discovered comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS), often known as K2, in the far reaches of the solar system in 2017.
Although it was overtaken by a distant mega comet known as Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein last year, K2 was formerly thought to be the furthest active comet ever seen.
Astronomers predict that K2 will make its closest approach to Earth on July 14, when it will be 168 million miles (270 million kilometers) away.
Online public observatories like the Virtual Telescope Project’s live webcast allow people without access to a telescope to see the comet’s passage. It will start on July 14 at 22:15 GM.
K2 will continue on its course toward perihelion, or its closest approach to the sun when it passes Earth in July.
For many years, scientists have been aware of comet C/2017 K2. However, there is disagreement over the size of the comet’s nucleus. Eddie Irizarry and Kelly Kizer Whitt, NASA solar system ambassadors, estimate that the comet is between 11 and 100 miles (18 and 161 kilometers) broad.
The magnitude of the comet’s coma, or tail, is also a topic of discussion among astronomers. The size of the gas and dust trail left by C/2017 K2 is anticipated to range from 130,000 to 800,000 km (81,000 to 500,000 miles) in length.
The comet has also been growing brighter as it has moved closer to the inner solar system.
According to EarthSky.org, the comet will brighten to magnitude 8 or possibly 7 during its closest approach on July 14. Sadly, this is still too dim for the naked eye to observe.
Before leaving for its closest approach to the sun on December 19, K2 will stay visible through the summer in telescope views.