Its heading our way! NASA confirms largest comet ever has been detected – Marca English
It is around 500 trillion tonnes in weight and 137km wide
NASA’s Hubble telescope has determined that a comet, which has a mass of around 500 trillion tonnes and is 137km wide, is heading our way at about 35.405 km per hour.
However, we shouldn’t be worried as the closest it will get is more than a billion kilometres from the sun, and that won’t be until 2031, although it will be visible from our planet.
The aforementioned comet was first spotted back in 2010, but now Hubble has confirmed its size and it is bigger than any comet astronomers have seen before.
“We’ve always suspected this comet had to be big because it is so bright at such a large distance,” stressed David Jewitt, a professor of planetary science and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“Now we confirm it is. This comet is literally the tip of the iceberg for many thousands of comets that are too faint to see in the more distant parts of the solar system.”
According to a statement from the space agency, the comet was discovered by astronomers Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein in archival images from the Dark Energy Survey at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The comets are described by NASA as icy, planetary “Lego blocks”.
“They were unceremoniously tossed out of the Solar System in a gravitational pinball game among the massive outer planets,” read NASA’s statement.
“The kicked-out comets took up residence in the Oort Cloud, a vast reservoir of far-flung comets encircling the Solar System.”
Man-To Hui, of the Macau University of Science and Technology, stressed that they “guessed the comet might be pretty big, but we needed the best data to confirm this.”
“This is an amazing object, given how active it is when it’s still so far from the sun,” he added.
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May 13, 2022 at 05:03AM