Astronomers have reported that on August 7 a giant comet called C / 2017 S3 will fly past Earth at a distance of 112 million kilometers. A space object that will appear in the sky in the Cancer constellation region can be observed armed with 10x binoculars or home telescopes. Having “greeted” our planet, the comet will rush to the Sun, and from August 16 it will pass it and continue the path to the outskirts of the system.
Experts estimate that in five years, the distance between the Earth and C / 2017 S3 will be 2.49 billion kilometers.
This space object was discovered relatively recently – in December 2017. In this scientists helped a powerful telescope located in the Hawaiian Islands. Since then, the comet has been actively monitored.
So, over the past summer, astronomers have recorded two powerful ejections of gas material from the head of the body. As noted, such processes on comets are common, but to date they have not been able to understand their nature. One of the main early versions said that this happens due to the heating of the comet's nucleus during its approach to the star.
The Rosetta automatic interplanetary station, launched by NASA and ESA to study the comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko, could better clarify the situation. For two years, the probe explored the cosmic body, extracting important data for the scientific world. It was thus possible to find out that massive dust and gas emissions are possible due to screes on the cometary nucleus. If you go back to C / 2017 S3, then, apparently, in the middle of July there was just such an outburst that provoked the appearance of a giant cloud that enveloped the core, whose diameter was 260 thousand kilometers. According to the greenish hue of the cloud, experts realized that it may have a large concentration of cyanides and carbon molecules.