A green comet has exploded in brightness and It’s expected to become visible to the naked eye next month.
Amateur astronomer Michael Jäger captured an incredible image of Comet PANSTARRS, as it brightened by 16-fold on July 2.
Mr. Jäger said: “The gas cloud around the comet’s nucleus is about 4 arc minutes wide.”
That means the comet’s atmosphere is 260,000 km in diameter – almost twice as wide as the planet Jupiter.
his huge size makes the comet fairly easy to spot using a standard telescope.
The comet is currently falling towards the sun from the Oort cloud a giant spherical shell surrounding the Sun, that often produces comets.
Worryingly, the comet has never visited the inner planets before, meaning it’s unclear what will happen when it approaches the sun next month.
Thankfully, the comet is approaching the sun on a hyperbolic orbit that is expected to fling it back to the outer solar system.
The comet will make its closest approach to the sun on August 15-16, at which point it will be inside the orbit of Mercury.