June 2017 by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3
|Discovery date||21 May 2017|
|Orbital characteristics [ A]|
|Observation arc||4.55 years|
|Orbital period||millions of years inbound[a]|
~26000 years (outbound)
|Earth MOID||1.10 AU (165 million km)|
|Jupiter MOID||1.29 AU|
|Dimensions||Rn between 14 km (8.7 mi) and 80 km (50 mi)|
maximum Dn ~18 km (11 mi)
C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is a non-periodic comet with a hyperbolic orbit, discovered in May 2017 at a distance beyond the orbit of Saturn when it was 16.09 AU (2.4 billion km) from the Sun. Precovery images from 2013 were located by July. It has been in the constellation of Draco since July 2007. As of April 2018[update], the 3-sigma uncertainty in the current distance of the comet from the Sun is ±30000 km.
Research with the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) infers the comet nucleus to have a radius between 14 and 80 km, so there is a chance the nucleus could be as large as C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp)". But research with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) estimates the nucleus to have a circular equivalent diameter of less than 18 km.
Around 2022-Jul-06 the comet will cross the celestial equator and then around 2022-Jul-14 it will pass 1.8 AU (270 million km) from Earth. It will reach perihelion around 2022-Dec-19, close to the orbit of Mars.[b]
- "Distant active comet C/2017 K2". www.spacetelescope.org. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- "MPEC 2017-K35 : COMET C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2017-05-24. Retrieved 2017-10-21. (CK17K020) (3 day obs arc)
- "C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) Orbit". Minor Planet Center. Archived from the original on 2017-11-13. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
- Seiichi Yoshida. "C/2017 K2 ( PanSTARRS )". Seiichi Yoshida's Comet Catalog. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
- Meech, Karen (2017). "CO-Driven Activity in Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 849 (1): L8. arXiv:1710.03876. Bibcode:2017ApJ...849L...8M. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa921f.
- Jewitt, David (2017). "A Comet Active Beyond the Crystallization Zone". The Astrophysical Journal. 847 (2): L19. arXiv:1709.10079. Bibcode:2017ApJ...847L..19J. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa88b4.
- "MPEC 2017-N26 : COMET C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
- Hubble Spots Farthest-Ever Incoming Active Comet September 29, 2017
- Computed with JPL Horizons using a barycentric solution. Ephemeris Type: Orbital Elements / Center: @0 (To be outside planetary region, inbound epoch 1950 and outbound epoch 2050)
- Perihelion passage: Given perihelion is still 5 years away, an epoch of 2022 gives a more accurate perihelion date that properly accounts for planetary perturbations. An epoch 2017 unperturbed two-body solution (Sun+comet) gives a date of 2022-Dec-21. Integrating the orbit with JPL Horizons which accounts for planetary perturbations gives a date of 2022-Dec-19. The Minor Planet Center's Epoch Dec 2022 solution also gives a date of 2022 Dec. 19
- A Comet Active Beyond the Crystallization Zone
- MPEC 2017-K90 : COMET C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)
- NASA's Hubble Observes the Farthest Active Inbound Comet Yet Seen
- Note on the dynamical evolution of C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS (arXiv 2018)
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