“Incredible Hulk” is the nickname that’s been given to a gigantic, bright green comet streaking through the sky. The comet’s formal name is the much harder-to-remember PANSTARSS C/2017 S3. On August 7, the Incredible Hulk will closer to Earth than it’s been since scientists first spotted it. This will also be the Incredible Hulk’s first trip into the “inner” solar system.
The Hulk got its name from its green color, and from its incredible size. On July 7, the comet “exploded” in brightness, becoming bright enough to see from Earth with binoculars. Its atmosphere — green, of course — is now twice the size of Jupiter.
Russian news reports have been warning that the Incredible Hulk could spread damage and disaster as it enters the solar system. But most scientists agree that the Hulk is benign and poses no threat whatsoever to life on earth.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Incredible Hulk Has Grown Bright Enough To See With Just An Ordinary Set of Binoculars. Soon It Should Be Visible to the Naked Eye
The Hulk was first spotted back in 2017. But until July, the comet was so faint, and so far away from us, that it could only really be seen through a powerful telescope. Then, in early July, the comet suddenly “exploded” in brightness, growing a massive atmosphere which made it much easier to spot from here on Earth. An amateur astronomer named Michael Jäger first noticed the comet’s new intensity on July 2.
At this point, the gas cloud around the comet is 160,000 miles wide — about twice the size of Jupiter. And as the Hulk passes closer and closer to the sun, its gases are boiling and exploding — making the comet even brighter, bigger, and easier to spot. Soon, it should be visible to the naked eye.
Astronomers say the Hulk should be visible now, in the early part of August. Around mid-August, the comet will pass so close to the sun that it will be almost impossible to see. But towards the end of the month, Hulk should be visible once again. Scientists say that the blast of radiation from the sun could cause more explosions, making the comet even brighter in the night sky.
One Russian Scientist Is Warning The Hulk Could Cause “Electromagnetic Disturbances” on Earth