Comet C/2017 K2 Panstarrs: an image – 10 July 2021
While comet C/2017 K2 Panstarrs is reaching its minimum distance from the Earth, we manage to share this image from last year. We will show this comet live next month.
The image above comes from the average of 10, 180-second exposures, unfiltered, remotely collected with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at the Virtual Telescope Project. The robotic telescope tracked the apparent motion of comet C/2017 K2 Panstarrs, so stars left trails on the background. A satellite crossed the field of view during the imaging session.
At the discovery time (21 May 2017), this comet was almost 2.5 billions of km far from the Sun, but already active: only comet C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp performed in a similar way at a comparable heliocentric distance and it is now a legendary object. Unfortunately, at perihelion (19 Dec. 2022), C/2017 K2 will stay beyond the orbit of Mars and this will limit its naked eye visibility from Earth.
Comet C/2017 K2 will reach its minimum distance from our planet next 14 July 2022 and we are planning a live feed to show it to our community: stay tuned!
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