Comet PanSTARRS (C / 2017 S3) was nicknamed "The Incredible Hulk" for its characteristic green color. The nucleus of the comet is surrounded by a giant gas cloud with a diameter of approximately 260,000 kilometers, which is twice as large as the dimensions Jupiter. It was opened on September 23 last year, the PanSTARRS system of telescopes, which are located on the top of the Mauna Kea volcano on Hawaii. The main task of PanSTARRS is the discovery of asteroids that can threaten our planet. However, the "Incredible Hulk" was not included among the celestial hooligans. According to calculations, the comet had to pass inside the orbit Mercury (this is the planet closest to the Sun) and then it will be thrown back to the periphery of the Solar System. The minimum distance between the Earth and the comet "Incredible Hulk" was estimated at 0.76 astronomical units (the astronomical unit is the distance from the Earth to the Sun). It is more than 110 million kilometers.

However, an independent researcher of cometary meteorites Eugene Dmitriev said in an interview with Interfax that a mortal danger could threaten humanity even without a direct collision with the nucleus of a comet.

– When the Earth passes through the gas-dust environment of a bright comet, the appearance of a giant lightning that generates a powerful cometary electromagnetic pulse can not be ruled out, it can become disastrous for civilization, the scientist believes. – The appearance of such a lightning is associated with the electrification by the solar wind of a cloud of gases surrounding the comet. When it converges with the Earth, an electric discharge of enormous power is possible. As a result, all electronic equipment will completely fail, the enterprises and life support facilities, including power plants, stop transport, stop planes …

The catastrophe should be expected closer to August 7, when the comet "Incredible Hulk" as close as possible to the Earth.

However, not all scientists share such apocalyptic predictions. For example, Stanislav Korotky, supervisor of the private observatory "Ka-Dar", said that the comet poses absolutely no threat, at least because it ceased to exist. The decay of the nucleus occurred on July 15, when the "Incredible Hulk" approached the Sun about the same distance that separates the Earth from the sun. Astronomers observed a bright flash, which then quickly faded. Probably the fatal for a comet was the approach to the star: the ice core exploded under the influence of solar radiation. The debris of the comet dissipated in outer space and does not pose a threat to humanity.


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