Comet K2's orbit
NASA, ESA and A. Field/STScI

Comet K2's orbit

This illustration shows the orbit of comet K2 on its maiden voyage into the solar system. The Hubble Space Telescope observed K2 when it was 1.5 billion miles from the sun, halfway between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. The observations revealed a fuzzy cloud of dust, called a coma, surrounding the icy visitor, evidence that the frozen comet is being warmed by the sun and releasing material. K2 is the farthest active inbound comet ever observed. The orbits of the giant planets, from Jupiter to Neptune, are also shown in the diagram. The farthest object from the sun depicted here is the dwarf planet Pluto.


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