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Comet C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS

Bill S

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Nick James, Section Director of the BAA, has picked comet C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS as comet of the month. Although it was discovered in May 2017 previous images have shown it back to May 2013. It will reach perihelion in December next year.

It’s in Hercules between the top of Keystone asterism and the globular cluster M92. It seems to have a large nucleus and be quite active.

This snapshot is a stack of 15 second subs.

More information is on the BAA website https://britastro.org/node/26070

and in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C/2017_K2

Good to have some clear skies.



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I decided to see if I could find a way of viewing the orbit of the comet. I had not used it before but the theskylive.com has a good way of doing this. It's very good for asteroids as well so I got a bit distracted looking at the orbits of asteroids such as Hebe. You can set an animation going too, which is nice.

Anyway, here's a snapshot of solar system with the orbit of C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS shown. It supports the point that it could be from the Oort cloud or even interstellar.



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