(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists named this comet 2014 UN271/(Bernardinelli-Bernstein). It has a size of 137 kilometers, which officially makes it the largest comet that astronomers have ever seen.
The first pictures of Bernardinelli-Bernstein were taken in 2014, when she was spotted by researchers at a distance of 4.59 billion kilometers from Earth.
This is about the same distance as the planet Neptune. Now these measurements have been officially confirmed.
“We have confirmed these measurements,” said Dr. Emmanuel Lellouche of the Paris Observatory in an interview with New Scientist. “This is the largest Oort cloud comet ever discovered.”
This means that the comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein has displaced the well-known comet Hale-Bopp, whose size is about 70 kilometers, from the first place.
According to NASA scientists, the Oort cloud is the most distant region of our solar system, and it is believed that it contains billions of pieces of space debris that was once ejected from the formed solar system.
Researchers believe that the Oort cloud may solve the mystery of our Sun’s long-lost twin. It is also possible that it holds clues to the mysterious Planet X, whose existence astronomers have yet to prove.
In addition, scientists believe that the Oort cloud played an important role in the history of the Earth, for example, it caused the extinction of dinosaurs.
There is a hypothesis according to which a star passing by our solar system had a gravitational effect on some asteroids, some of which collided with the Earth.
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