Comet C 2017 K2 (PanSTARRS)
Imaged on June 20 2022, comet
C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS)
shares this wide
telescopic field of view with open star cluster IC 4665 and bright star
Beta Ophiuchi, near a starry edge of the Milky Way.
On its maiden voyage to the inner Solar System
from the dim and
this comet PanSTARRS was initially spotted over five years ago,
in May 2017.
Then it was the
distant active inbound comet
discovered when it was some 2.4 billion kilometers from the Sun.
That put it between the
of Uranus and Saturn.
Hubble Space Telescope
the comet had a large nucleus less than 18 kilometers in diameter.
Now visible in
telescopes C/2017 K2
will make its closest approach
to planet Earth on July 14 and closest approach to the Sun this December.
Its extended coma and developing tail are
seen here at a distance of some 290 million kilometers, a mere
16 light-minutes away.
Authors & editors:
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings,
NASA Official: Jay Norris.
A service of:
& Michigan Tech. U.