'Incredible Hulk' Comet Will Soon Whiz Past Earth

Stargazers' best chance to see the cosmic behemoth on Tuesday and Wednesday
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2018 4:07 PM CDT
An illustration of a comet.   (solarseven)

(Newser) – A green comet is set to whiz past Earth this week, but blink and you might miss it. Lucky stargazers who look up Tuesday or Wednesday nights will have the best chance to glimpse the celestial object, dubbed the "Incredible Hulk" for its color and considerable size, notes Sputnik News. The comet, also known somewhat less affectionately as C/2017 S3, was discovered in September 2017 and is believed to have broken up in July as it neared the sun. What's left is an electrified gas cloud that will glow a distinctive green in the night sky, conditions permitting.

As Weather.com notes, cloud cover won't be favorable on the East Coast, but folks in the northern Plains states and the West (smoke permitting) might have a better chance. The comet was initially expected to be visible to the naked eye, though hopes of that seemed to be fading. In the best-case scenario, another eruption from the comet will make it brighter. By mid-August, experts say the comet's proximity to the sun will make it all but imperceptible from Earth. At its closest point, the comet will be about 70 million miles from Earth.

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