A giant comet flew near the Earth, hitting the live broadcast

(ORDO NEWS) — Comet K2 was first discovered in 2017. On the night of July 14-15, 2022, it flew past the Earth, hitting the lenses of the Virtual Telescope Project.

The object that has come closest to Earth today is said to be one of the most distant active comets ever discovered. It is surpassed only by a distant mega-comet called Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein.

What is known

Comets, made up mostly of frozen gases, rocks, and dust, become active as they approach the Sun: the heat from the star quickly heats up the comet, causing its solid ice to turn into gas (a process known as sublimation) and form a cloud around it, known as a coma.

– Comet C/2017 K2 has finally entered Earth’s field of vision after it was first spotted by the Pan-STARRS telescope in the outer solar system in 2017.

– The object approached our planet as close as possible at night, passing 270 million kilometers from Earth (in the orbit of Mars).

– The event could be watched through a live broadcast thanks to the Virtual Telescope Project.

Interestingly, when K2 was discovered in 2017 between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, the comet was already active.

At the same time, it was 2.4 billion kilometers from the Sun, which is 16 times more than the location of the Earth relative to the Sun.

Initial observations indicated that the comet had a large nucleus and a massive coma. While the Canadian-French-Hawaiian CFHT found that the K2 core could be between 30 and 160 kilometers wide , data from the Hubble Space Telescope showed that it was only 18 kilometers wide.

Therefore, it is difficult to say something about its size. The current approximation will allow us to refine the dimensions of the comet.

K2 will remain in the telescope’s field of view until the end of summer.

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