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Comet C/2017 K2: Hubble Spots Rare Visitor from Oort Cloud

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posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:21 PM
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A Very unusual and extremely interesting visitor that will be on its closest approach 14 Jul 2022. Interestingly the coma is not in the form of a tail and a large coma like this has never been seen so far out from the sun where it is still very cold. It is coming from the Oort cloud they say but I would think this would mean more objects would possibly coming with it.
I wonder if the coma will be interacting with earth when it nears the sun.



C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS), or ‘K2,’ was discovered on May 21, 2017 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) in Hawaii.



Slightly warmed by the remote Sun, K2 has already begun to develop an 80,000-mile-wide fuzzy cloud of dust, called a coma.



“K2 is so far from the Sun and so cold, we know for sure that the activity — all the fuzzy stuff making it look like a comet — is not produced, as in other comets, by the evaporation of water ice,” Dr. Jewitt explained.



Based on the Hubble observations of K2’s coma, the astronomers suggest that sunlight is heating frozen volatile gases — such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide — that coat the comet’s frigid surface. These icy volatiles lift off from the comet and release dust, forming the coma. “I think these volatiles are spread all through K2, and in the beginning billions of years ago, they were probably all through every comet presently in the Oort Cloud,” Dr. Jewitt said.

www.sci-news.com...

This illustration shows the orbit of K2 on its maiden voyage into the Solar System. Hubble observed tis comet when it was 1.5 billion miles from the Sun, halfway between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. The farthest object from the Sun depicted here is the dwarf planet Pluto, which resides in the Kuiper Belt, a vast rim of primordial debris encircling our Solar System. Image credit: NASA / ESA / A. Field, STScI.
Closest approach can be seen here
theskylive.com...




posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:01 PM
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a reply to: SeaWorthy

This is highly interesting this is. Really good find!



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:19 PM
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a reply to: SeaWorthy

Space-chemtrails!

It's funny because it's true.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:26 PM
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It won't be real close, as it's orbit is consistently outside of Mars at it does perihelion, however with the volatile surface of this thing, it could be huge. What a great site to see a huge fuzzball in the sky, for a considerable amount of time.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:35 PM
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a reply to: SeaWorthy

Cool , something to keep an eye on , I wonder if it will be visible to the naked eye.


Hubble’s sharp ‘eye’ also helped the team estimate the size of K2’s nucleus — less than 12 miles across — though the tenuous coma is 10 Earth diameters across.

Wow.


fuzzy stuff making it look like a comet

Hope it's Aliens.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:56 PM
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a reply to: gortex

Awesome stuff. I'm betting it will be visible to the naked eye by the time it gets close to Mars range, if not sooner. Once the sun warms it up a little it should be quite luminous at that size.

Nibiru hurling iceballs our way?



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 04:24 PM
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That is such a long time to wait. 2022 is five years away, the world could end and we would never see it up close. Maybe it is what was referred to as Niburu in the past, it might just be something that was not understood when it was here last. So, maybe it will look like a big eye in the sky for a while. Possibly the eye of Ra.
edit on 29-9-2017 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 04:51 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
That is such a long time to wait. 2022 is five years away, the world could end and we would never see it up close. Maybe it is what was referred to as Niburu in the past, it might just be something that was not understood when it was here last. So, maybe it will look like a big eye in the sky for a while. Possibly the eye of Ra.


Nearer 4 years and don't forget how time flies!!!
I had thought what is an unseen object was traveling along causing the great cloud it is producing.
It may look like a second sun when it gets close, guess we will see.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 05:06 PM
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The End of the Universe cometh!

This could end up being the single most mind blowing event of our existence. We find out we've just graduated from a Petrie dish to a beaker!!!



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 05:37 PM
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Looks promising, will follow to see when the astronomers have drawn up an orbit. These things are often calculated over and over again with different results each time.

"Maiden voyage" was referred to upthread, and for a comet to be boiling off non-water volatiles that far from the Sun does suggest that this could indeed be its first visit to the inner solar system. Wonder what dislodged it?



posted on Sep, 30 2017 @ 08:57 AM
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People bitch that there's nothing interesting on ATS anymore then when something interesting comes along they don't bother to comment on it !
No pleasing some people.

Bumpity.



posted on Sep, 30 2017 @ 11:02 AM
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originally posted by: gortex
People bitch that there's nothing interesting on ATS anymore then when something interesting comes along they don't bother to comment on it !
No pleasing some people.

Bumpity.

Just what I was thinking, People are following the political stuff and never see anything else, don't seem to look for anything else. I have been spending more of my free time looking at other websites.
Looking at the pictures I expected at the least a Blue Kachina comment!

hubblesite.org...




A solitary frozen traveler has been journeying for millions of years toward the heart of our planetary system. The wayward vagabond, a city-sized snowball of ice and dust called a comet, was gravitationally kicked out of the Oort Cloud, its frigid home at the outskirts of the solar system. This region is a vast comet storehouse, composed of icy leftover building blocks from the construction of the planets 4.6 billion years ago.
hubblesite.org...



posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 02:26 PM
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a reply to: gortex

Just thinking
It will take about 300 years for Voyager 1 to reach the inner edge of the Oort Cloud and possibly about 30,000 years to fly beyond it.
SO how is this travel millions of years toward us from the Oort cloud?

"traveling for millions of years from its home in the frigid outer reaches of the solar system, where the temperature is about minus 440 degrees Fahrenheit. The comet's orbit indicates that it came from the Oort Cloud"



posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 03:15 PM
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I'm still not entirely convinced that there is such as thing as an "Oort Cloud," and I'm not aware of any proven mechanism by which a comet -- certainly not a single comet -- in it might be sent sailing out of it on a long elliptical solar orbit. Well, gravity perturbations, of course. Eh. Prove it.



posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 03:49 PM
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originally posted by: Blue Shift
I'm still not entirely convinced that there is such as thing as an "Oort Cloud," and I'm not aware of any proven mechanism by which a comet -- certainly not a single comet -- in it might be sent sailing out of it on a long elliptical solar orbit. Well, gravity perturbations, of course. Eh. Prove it.


They seem to feel the same, no one says it is, they say maybe.




The Oort Cloud is believed to be a thick bubble of icy debris that surrounds our solar system.

solarsystem.nasa.gov...

I just don't get how our probe can go somewhere in hundreds of years that this object travels in millions of years, is our probe that much faster...seems so unlikely. I also wonder how they think they know where something came from when it could have traveled millions of years from that same direction and not from the supposed Oort cloud. Also considering how many objects are out there could an object not hit another at any time changing its course and so how would we know where it originated. The always sound like they know for sure where something comes from and how much time it has traveled.
"traveling for millions of years from its home in the frigid outer reaches of the solar system, where the temperature is about minus 440 degrees Fahrenheit. The comet's orbit indicates that it came from the Oort Cloud"



The Oort cloud is very far from the Sun. It is outside the bubble produced by our Sun’s solar wind and magnetic field by a considerable distance. While Voyager 1 has left this magnetic bubble, and entered what is called “interstellar space”, it has several hundred more years of traveling before it even reaches the inner edge of the Oort cloud.

www.forbes.com...



posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 03:55 PM
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a reply to: SeaWorthy

I have been trying to find how they know the size of an object by looking at the coma and it seems they don't know.




The comet is record-breaking because it is already becoming active under the feeble glow of the distant sun. Astronomers have never seen an active inbound comet this far out, where sunlight is merely 1/225th its brightness as seen from Earth. Temperatures, correspondingly, are at a minus 440 degrees Fahrenheit. Even at such bone-chilling temperatures, a mix of ancient ices on the surface – oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide – is beginning to sublimate and shed as dust. This material balloons into a vast 80,000-mile-wide (130,000-km-wide) halo of dust, called a coma, enveloping the solid nucleus.


It seems to me there is a chance something hot is near the object to make it create a cloud and yet no tail in what should be very cold space.



posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 03:57 PM
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Except for the actual objective sighting of this object, the article is just jammed to the rafters with a lot of dubious scientific mythology.



posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 05:04 PM
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Here's the abstract from arXiv: A Comet Active Beyond the Crystallization Zone


We present observations showing in-bound long-period comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) to be active at record heliocentric distance. Nucleus temperatures are too low (60 K to 70 K) either for water ice to sublimate or for amorphous ice to crystallize, requiring another source for the observed activity. Using the Hubble Space Telescope we find a sharply-bounded, circularly symmetric dust coma 10^5 km in radius, with a total scattering cross section of ∼10^5 km2. The coma has a logarithmic surface brightness gradient -1 over much of its surface, indicating sustained, steady-state dust production. A lack of clear evidence for the action of solar radiation pressure suggests that the dust particles are large, with a mean size ≳ 0.1 mm. Using a coma convolution model, we find a limit to the apparent magnitude of the nucleus V> 25.2 (absolute magnitude H> 12.9). With assumed geometric albedo pV = 0.04, the limit to the nucleus circular equivalent radius is < 9 km. Pre-discovery observations from 2013 show that the comet was also active at 23.7 AU heliocentric distance. While neither water ice sublimation nor exothermic crystallization can account for the observed distant activity, the measured properties are consistent with activity driven by sublimating supervolatile ices such as CO2, CO, O2 and N2. Survival of supervolatiles at the nucleus surface is likely a result of the comet's recent arrival from the frigid Oort cloud.


Interestingly, it was first observed in 2013 at a distance of 23.7 AU, and even at that distance it was showing signs of activity! That's one of the reasons the astronomers are certain this is the closest this comet has ever been to the sun. This also means a reasonably accurate assessment of it's orbit is possible - an object from interplanetary space would be traveling faster and be on a hyperbolic trajectory, so the Oort cloud is the most likely origin.



posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: SeaWorthy


it came from the Oort Cloud, a spherical region almost a light-year in diameter


Perhaps they're basing the figure on an assumption it came from the far reaches of the Oort Cloud , I think it's all guess work at the moment.
Until it's confirmed as a comet I'm hoping for something else , unless they have evil intentions then I'm hoping it's a comet.



posted on Oct, 6 2017 @ 11:01 PM
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"The Cosmic Serpent" by Victor Clube and Bill Napier, it lays out the mechanism by which Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt objects enter the inner solar system, and more importantly how these resevoirs are constantly replenished.
Fascinating book and I highly reccomend it if anyone is interested in the subject.


edit on p00000010k011052017Fri, 06 Oct 2017 23:01:33 -0500k by punkinworks10 because: (no reason given)



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