Incredible Hulk? No, this glowing, green light in the night sky is a comet

The green glow in the sky is unfortunately not the Incredible Hulk.

Credit: Live Science / Shutterstock

Editor's note: This story was updated at 20:15. SUMMER TIME.

A gigantic, green-colored comet is smashing its way through the night sky, causing some people to call it the "Incredible Hulk Comet". Tomorrow (7th August), according to the magazine "Sky and Telescope", the celestial object will come closest to Earth. This is probably the first time the comet has ever entered the inner solar system.

The comet was discovered on December 23, 2017 by the PanSTARRS telescopes in Haleakala, Hawaii. The flying, green space rock has already given Skywatchern some surprising tidbits, with light explosions exploding twice in rapid succession from the surface – first on June 30 and then about two weeks later, Sky and Telescope reported. As Hulk himself might say: "Comet flash!"

Such outbreaks are common with comets, though their exact cause is unknown. Many scientists thought these outbursts were triggered when a comet left its cold home outside of Pluto and crashed to the sun, heating its surface and causing pressure build-up that led to geyser-like explosions. But close observation of the comet 67P by the Rosetta spacecraft has instead suggested that landslides that slide on the steeply sloped surface of the comet move dust and other material into space,'s sister Web site Live Science reported. [Danger! Falling Rocks: Meteorites and Asteroids (Infographic)]

Anyway, the second eruption on the C / 2017 S3 has created a huge gas cloud around the icy object, which is almost twice the size of Jupiter, according to the Austrian amateur astronomer Michael Jäger to around 161,000 miles (260,000 kilometers) , Its greenish hue is the result of cyanide and carbon molecules that are heated and ionized by the sun, meaning that their electrons and protons separate, resulting in a distinctive glow, Brian Koberlein, astrophysicist at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. reported on his blog.

Some news cites a Russian scientist who claims that the happy green comet will cause some kind of apocalyptic upheaval on Earth. Do not worry! Like its green-skinned superhero namesake, C / 2017 S3 is much friendlier than it seems. But the Russian astronomer Stanislav Short of the Telescope Astronomical Station Tau has said that the comet poses no danger and that such objects are constantly passing our planet.

C / 2017 S3 will be about 70 million miles (112 million km) from Earth at its shortest approach. The comet will then approach the sun and swing around our central star on August 16th and then fall back into the distant regions of our solar system. Right now, the comet is too close to the sun to be visible, but perhaps it will be visible later in August after circumnavigating the sun and passing by, Paul Chodas, the manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Live Science.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to find that C / 2017 S3 is not currently visible because it is too close to the sun. An earlier version of the story said the comet would be visible with binoculars tonight.

Originally published on Live Science.


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