A Huge Comet called K2 Is Approaching Earth

30.06.2022 10:05

For the past 3 million years, Comet C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) has been falling toward the sun, a long, slow journey from the outer solar system. Finally, it's here. Michael Jaeger photographed it on June 25th from Martinsberg, Austria. The comet was about 9th magnitude.

"Comet K2" caused a sensation when it was discovered in 2017. At first, it appeared to be one of the biggest comets in modern history, with a nucleus as much as 160 km wide. Hubble Space Telescope observations have since downsized the comet to 18 km. That is still big (typical comet nuclei measure 1 to 3 km), but not a record setter.


The comet will make its closest approach to Earth (1.8 AU away) on July 14th, brightening to 7th or 8th magnitude. This is too dim to see with the naked eye, but an easy target for backyard telescopes. https://spaceweather.com/


The Book of Revelation: a mountain falling to the sea