We’re only a week away from the start of July 2022, and astronomy already has some exciting news for us. Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS), or you can simply call it K2, will pass by our planet and give us the chance to spot it with a good telescope and if the weather is on our side.
Space.com brings the news about the huge comet in question, and the space object will make its closest approach to Earth on July 14. That’s the date when we will have the chance to spot the comet in the night sky if it’s not too cloudy outside. It’s hard to miss it if you have a good telescope, however, as only the core of the comet measures between 30 to 160 kilometers wide. No exact measurement could be done so far by the astronomers.
A discovery made in 2017
It wasn’t until five years ago that astronomers didn’t get to take a first look at the comet in question. NASA’s good old Hubble telescope took a good look at K2. The comet is peculiar due to its ability to already eliminate gas and dust even though it’s located very far from the Sun. These are incredible traits that astronomers have never seen before in a comet.
Usually, astronomers discover comets that are active only when they’re located in a region that’s closer to the Sun, which automatically makes them become warmer objects.
The Hubble Space Telescope continues to be very active. For instance, we found out in April that Hubble has discovered a big chunk of galactic dust that was ‘hiding’ a supermassive black hole.
NASA’s James Webb Telescope (JWST) is also up there and preparing its powerful gears to bring back clearer and more in-depth images of stars and galaxies than humanity has ever gathered before.