Distant active comet C/2017 K2

Esahubble_opo1740a_500

esahubble_opo1740a  

Credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Jewitt (UCLA)

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a fuzzy cloud of dust, called a coma, surrounding the comet C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS (K2), the farthest active comet ever observed entering the solar system. Hubble snapped images of K2 when the frozen visitor was over 2.4 billion kilometres from the Sun, just beyond Saturn's orbit. Even at that remote distance, sunlight is warming the frigid comet, producing a 128,000-kilometre-wide coma that envelops a tiny, solid nucleus. K2 has been traveling for millions of years from its home in the Oort Cloud, a spherical region at the edge of our solar system. This frigid area contains hundreds of billions of comets, the icy leftovers from the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago. The image was taken in June 2017 by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3. Links: NASA Press Release Schematic of comet C/2017 K2's approach to the Solar System

Image Source: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo1740a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS
Subject - Solar System
Interplanetary Body » Comet » Coma

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Hubble (WFC3/UVIS) Optical (U) 350.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_blue
Esahubble_opo1740a_1280
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ID
opo1740a
Subject Category
A.2.2.2  
Subject Name
C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS
Credits
NASA, ESA, and D. Jewitt (UCLA)
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo1740a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble
Instrument
WFC3/UVIS
Color Assignment
Blue
Band
Optical
Bandpass
U
Central Wavelength
350
Start Time
Integration Time
1.0
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
1000.0, 1000.0
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
http://www.spacetelescope.org
Name
Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach
Email
outreach@stsci.edu
Telephone
410-338-4444
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
opo1740a
Metadata Date
2017-10-02T11:25:05.696847
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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There is no distance meta data in this image.