July 15, 2022 7 min read
July has been an adventurous month for NASA. The internet has been buzzing with some of the most fascinating images of the cosmic cliffs and blistering stars. Using the James Webb telescope, Nasa revealed an image of the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 also known as Webb’s First Deep Field.
Source: Indian Express
NASA then set us on a visual treat with images of Carina Nebula, WASP-96 b (spectrum data), Southern Ring Nebula and Stephen’s Quintet. The image of the Southern Ring Nebula captured the “end performance” of a dying star. The image of Stephan’s Quintet shed new light on the evolution of galaxies and black holes with the galaxies in a “galactic dance” or cosmic proportions with each other.
Source: Indian Express
Most also have another visitor, ‘a massive comet’ galavanting across the galaxy. Between July 12th to 14th, it came closest to our planet paying us a visit as well. On 14th July, most space enthusiasts witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime spotting of the comet.
The original name of K2 is Comet C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS. It was first spotted five years ago when it was navigating its way between Saturn and Uranus. Its stature is big but the exact size of the nucleus is yet to be disclosed by NASA. Although, it is one of the largest comets around us. Experts believe that the trail of dust and gases has been left behind and have had quite an impactful presence.
Our galaxy is full of surprises, K2’s presence could be spotted clearly by binoculars and telescopes by most people around the world. In Canada, local observatories hosted a watch party for people to watch the comet move. The Italy-based Virtual Telescope Project showcased the comet through a live broadcast that started on July 15th at 3.40am
K2’s journey will take a fresh turn, mid-December, according to the experts. It will then inch closer to the sun. The beauty of a comet is the direction it takes once it is closer to the largest star (sun). Comets usually go deeper in space or at times break because of the intensity of the heat.
Comets are often referred to as the ‘frozen leftovers from the formation of the solar system, composed of dust, rock and ice’ by NASA. It is intriguing that despite the Milky Way being many years old, they are still floating around, occassing zipping their way through the planetary orbits. They give us a glimpse of what our world is made of and its also important to keep a close watch on their movement for our safety.
So many exciting new things to learn about the Universe! Are you a fan of cosmic trivia, like we are? And do you enjoy learning things by experiencing them? Bingo! So do we. On Practically, we have curated content that helps you learn about the sun, stars, our galaxy, comets, space and many more exciting things. You will have access to 3D videos and simulations that will open doors to a new way of learning things. So why delay in downloading the app, if you haven’t already? Head to the PlayStore or the App store to access the Practically app for free.
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