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Friday, September 29, 2017

Farthest Inactive Icy Comet-K2

About Image:

     The image shown above is comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) and it was taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, which has been travelling for millions of years from its home in the frigid outer reaches of the solar system, where the temperature is about minus 440 degrees Farenheit. The Comet's orbit indicates that it came from the Oort Cloud, a spherical region almost a light-year in diameter and thought to contain hundreds of billions of comets. Comets are the icy leftovers from the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago and therefore pristine in icy composition.

Inactive Bound Comet:
     NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the farthest active inbound comet ever seen, at a whopping distance of 1.5 billion miles from the sun (beyond Saturn's orbit). Slightly warmed by the remote Sun, it has already begun to develop 80,000 mile wide fuzzy cloud of dust, called a coma, enveloping a tiny, solid nucleus of frozen gas and dust. These observations represent the earliest signs of activity ever seen from a comet entering the solar system's planetary zone for the first time.


     K2 was discovered in May 2017 by the Panormic Survey Telescope and rapid Response System in Hawaii, a survey project of NASA's near earth object observations program. Jewitt used Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 at the end of June to take closer look at the icy visitor.

Credit: Text and Image Credits goes to NASA

More Information:

For More Information About Hubble : Hubble Page


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