(ORDO NEWS) — Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein was discovered back in 2010, but its exact parameters were only determined in April of this year. What’s with the heavenly body now?
A comet called C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein) was first discovered back in 2010, but its size was only confirmed in April 2022.
In total, this object has a diameter of 130 kilometers and a mass of 50 trillion tons. It easily beats the previous record, because the last largest comet had a width of 98 kilometers.
The comet was so large that it was originally classified as a minor planet. However, in 2014, cometary activity was discovered near the celestial body – a barely visible small tail, called a coma, became visible in it.
As this celestial body approaches the Sun, the coma will grow and become more and more noticeable.
Where is the biggest comet now?
Despite the fact that Bernardinelli-Bernstein flies towards the Earth, our planet is not threatened by a collision with this celestial body.
At least for now. As of 2021, the comet was at a distance of 19 astronomical units (1 astronomical unit is the distance from the Earth to the Sun), or 2.8 billion km.
Considering that on average this comet “passes” 1.4 astronomical units in the direction of the Sun, at the moment it can be expected that it is at a distance of 17-18 AU. from a star.
Based on orbital calculations, the closest distance between the comet and the Sun will be reached in 2031 at 10.9 astronomical units.
This is approximately the level of Saturn’s orbit. Nevertheless, you should not be afraid of a celestial body – its orbit is very wide and after the passage of perihelion (the point of the orbit closest to the star) we will not see this celestial body in our area for hundreds of thousands of years.
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