Messier 10 and Comet
Image Credit & Copyright:
German Penelas Perez

Explanation: Imaged on July 15 2022, comet C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) had a Messier moment, sharing this wide telescopic field of view with globular star cluster Messier 10. Of course M10 was cataloged by 18th century comet hunter Charles Messier as the 10th object on his list of things that were definitely not comets. While M10 is about 14 thousand light-years distant, this comet PanSTARRS was about 15 light-seconds from our fair planet following its its July 14 closest approach. Its greenish coma and dust tail entertaining 21st century comet watchers, C/2017 K2 is expected to remain a fine telescopic comet in northern summer skies. On a maiden voyage from our Solar System’s remote Oort Cloud this comet PanSTARRS was discovered in May 2017 when it was beyond the orbit of Saturn. At the time that made it the most distant active inbound comet known. Its closest approach the Sun will be within 1.8 astronomical units on December 19, beyond the orbital distance of Mars.

Tomorrow’s picture: pixels in space

German Penelas Perez

说明: 在2022年7月15日那天,彗星C/2017 K2(PanSTARRS 泛星)和梅西耶天体偶遇,与球状星团M10分享这片广阔的望远镜视野。而M10则是18世纪的彗星猎人梅西耶所编辑的“绝对不是彗星”星表里,编录号第十的天体。在拍照当时,M10与我们的距离约为14,000光年,而这颗刚在7月14日通过最近地球位置的泛星彗星,离我们美丽的地球大约只有15光秒。曳着泛绿彗发和尘尾、身为21世纪彗星观测者宠儿的C/2017 K2,预期会持续是北部夏季天空中,一颗很出采的望远镜彗星。来自太阳系遥远外围的欧特云、首次进入内太阳系的泛星彗​​星,于2017年5月远在土星轨道外头时就被发现,让它在当时成为已知最远的活跃入内彗星。它将在12月19日,运行到离太阳少于1.8天文单位、位于火星轨道外头的近日点。

明日的图片: pixels in space