Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein – named after its discoverers – has been known since 2014, and astronomers have known since last year that it is the size of “Huge”. But it took the help of the Hubble Space Telescope to determine the exact dimensions of this interstellar monster. Results published this week and took over before The New York Timesdid not disappoint.
Comet nuclei can be up to 137 kilometers in diameter It has a mass of 500,000 billion tons “Equal to about 2,800 Mount Everest.”The New York Daily identifies. Altogether, Bernardinelli-Bernstein is 40% larger than the first runner-up, responding to the beautiful name C/2002 VQ94.
Despite its large size, this snowball has hair millions of miles long – and its core “Blacker than coal” – It will not be visible to the naked eye from Earth until 2031, scientists say. The comet, which is currently heading toward the sun at a speed of more than 35,000 km/h, will then reach the edges of Saturn, before turning around to blast off again toward the depths of the solar system.
“Other secrets of the comet will be revealed as it approaches Saturn’s orbit.” It’s 2031, but astronomers won’t know much about its exact source, he notes The New York Times.
However, despite the lack of evidence, everything indicates that the comet comes from the mysterious Oort cloud, “A hypothetical bubble that has not yet been observed, located around the solar system, and filled with primitive ice fragments of various sizes and shapes”.
The culprit can present “A welcome glimpse into what lies in this bubble”According to David Jewett, an astronomer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and author of the most recent Bernardinelli-Bernstein study.
It is located in the Oort region of the cloud “So many things we have never seen, so many things we can’t even imagine”He says. “What the hell is going on there?”
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