Pre-Dawn Sky to Welcome Comet Catalina

Pre-Dawn Sky to Welcome Comet Catalina

The inner part of our solar system has been visited by Comet Catalina for the first time, as reported by NASA. The comet, officially known as C/2013 US10, will be visible in the sky before the dawn of January 1, 2016. The comet, which was found on October 31, 2013, will return to the outer space permanently after its short visibility in sky. The comet was named after the Catalina Sky Survey, funded by NASA, at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Soon after its discovery, the scientists determined the comet’s exact orbit, which revealed that its expected origin might be the Oort Cloud. It is a kind of spherical cloud formed of billions of icy things, which is bound to the solar system in a loose and disorganized way. These icy objects can be deflected on an inward path either by fluctuations of gravitational tides or the route of a relatively close star within our Milky Way galaxy.

It was recorded that Comet Catalina reached it closest distance to the sun (perihelion) on November 15, when it was 76 million miles (122 million kilometers) from the sun. The comet was travelling at a speed of 103,000 miles per hour (166,000 kilometers per hour) when it went past the sun. Looking at its excessive speed, Comet Catalina is likely to be on a permanent escape route from our solar system.

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