This Thursday (14th), the comet K2 will be at the closest point to Earth, 270 million kilometers. Doctor in Physics at the Federal Institute of Santa Catarina (IFSC) Marcelo Schappo explained where it comes from and what are the characteristics of this celestial body (see further below).
Despite the comet being closer to Earth, during the months of closer proximity, observation will only be possible with telescopes, due to the low brightness. According to Schappo, the celestial body was discovered in 2017.
Infographic shows the origin of comet K2 — Photo: Arte/Ben Ami Scopinho
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According to Schappo, the features we associate with the comet’s appearance, such as the tail, occur as the celestial body approaches the Sun. See the details below:
Infographic shows how a comet acquires characteristics associated with it, such as a tail — Photo: Arte/Ben Ami Scopinho
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Like planets, comets orbit the Sun. They are different from asteroids, however, because of their composition. Asteroids are typically made of rocky and metallic materials.
Comets are a bit like a massive snowball, made of ice and dust, and some rocky material. You can recognize them in the night sky by their long tails, which can extend for millions of kilometers.
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