– Scientists have spotted an enormous, ‘alien’ comet streaking straight towards the sun.
The 3.7 mile-wide (6 kilometers) space iceball, called 96P/Machholz 1, is thought to have come from somewhere outside our solar system, and is being monitored by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft as it zips toward our star inside the orbit of Mercury, leaving an icy trail in its wake.
Comet tails are primarily composed of gas, which trickles behind the frozen clumps of ice and gas as they are heated by the sun’s radiation. In 2008, an analysis of the material shed by 150 comets found that 96P/Machholz 1 contained less than 1.5% of the expected levels of the chemical cyanogen, while also being low in carbon — leading astronomers to conclude that it could be an interloper from another solar system. Now, its plunge towards the sun might reveal even more of its secrets.
On Wednesday (Feb. 1) a comet that has not visited the Earth since the last ice age and the time of the Neanderthals will make its closest approach to our planet, or perigee.
Excitingly, the comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), which last passed through the inner solar system around 50,000 years ago, will be at its brightest during this time and may even be visible to the naked eye under the right conditions. The comet should be observable for days as it approaches our planet and then recedes on its way to the outer solar system. #Comet96P #GreenComet #news
Learn More: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/gigantic-alien-comet-spotted-heading-220316143.html
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