An ancient comet that is thought to be more than 4 billion years old is heading towards Earth. The massive comet is at least 80 miles wide, about twice the width of Rhode Island. It is currently moving towards Earth at a speed of 22,000 miles per hour.
This ancient comet is the largest comet ever discovered
The comet in question is currently orbiting the Earth at 22,000 miles per hour. It is moving inward from the edge of our solar system. Fortunately, you do not have to worry about the impact of the comet on Earth. Astronomers say it does not go closer than a billion miles to the sun. This is slightly greater than the distance between Earth and Saturn.
An ancient comet is expected to occasionally pass close to Earth by 2031. This means that it will take us many years to care about this ancient celestial body. However, it is always interesting to know when comets and asteroids go in our direction.
David Juvet, professor of planetary science and astronomy at UCLA, co-authored a study of the comet. Published by Juvet and colleagues Letters from the Astrophysical Journal. He says objects like this ancient comet were “kicked” out of the solar system many years ago.
Comets then settled in the Oort Cloud, a massive cluster of distant comets around our solar system, says Jouet. Other comets, such as this ancient comet, orbit the solar system billions of miles in deep space.
Meet Comet C / 2014 UN271
Beyond heading towards Earth, there is another thing that makes this ancient comet mysterious. For example, astronomers say that this comet has the largest nucleus of any comet we have ever seen. They used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to determine the size of the nucleus. The comet is currently estimated to be up to 85 miles in size.
Comet C / 2014 UN271 was first discovered by Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein. It was first observed by astronomers in 2010. At that time, the ancient comet was 3 billion miles away from the Sun. Now, it is 2 billion miles away from the sun. Juvet says it will continue in its current cycle until Oort returns to the cloud in a few million years.
Says Jouvet This ancient comet was “bigger and darker than coal”. The comet is estimated at about 500 trillion tons. This is a hundred thousand times the mass of a typical comet found near the Sun.
David Juved, Professor of Planetary Science and Astronomy at UCLA and co-author of the book New study At Letters from the Astrophysical Journal. “We always suspected that this comet must be bigger because it’s so bright so far. Now we’ve confirmed it.
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