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Biggest Comet Ever Weighing 500 Trillion Tons Heads For Earth At 22,000 MPH – World News

Comet C/2014 UN271, or Bernardinelli-Bernstein, has a core about 80 miles across, about the distance from London to Stonehenge

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has determined the size of the largest icy comet nucleus astronomers have ever seen
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has determined the size of the largest icy comet nucleus astronomers have ever seen

The largest comet ever recorded, weighing 500 trillion tons, is heading toward Earth at 22,000 miles per hour.

C/2014 UN271, or the Bernardinelli Bernstein, has a core about 80 miles across, roughly the distance from London to Stonehenge.

The comet is currently traveling at 22,000 miles per hour and is coming from the edge of the solar system.

However, NASA assures us that it will never be closer than a billion miles from the Sun, and it won’t be until 2031.

David Jewitt, professor of planetary science and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles, said: “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 Sun’s system.”







The comet is said to be 80 miles across (pictured)
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Picture:

(Getty Images)

“We always suspected that this comet must be big because it’s so bright at such a great distance. Now we have confirmed it.”

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has confirmed that it is the largest icy comet nucleus ever seen by scientists.

It’s more than 10 times the size of the meteorite thought to have wiped out dinosaurs more than 65 million years ago, about seven miles away.







NASA assures us that it will never be closer than a billion miles from the sun, and it won’t be until 2031
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Picture:

NASA)

The comet was first spotted by astronomers Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein while going through archival images from the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.

It has been observed since it was three billion miles from the sun.

Measuring the comet’s nucleus was a challenge, according to NASA, because it was too far away for the Hubble telescope to measure it.







The comet is currently moving at 22,000 miles per hour
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Picture:

NASA)

The scientists had to create a computer model fitted to the images of the comet’s bright light they obtained from the telescope’s data.

The comet is twice the size of the last celestial giant to hold the tile, Hale-Bopp, discovered in 1995 by two amateur astronomers, Alan Hale in New Mexico and Thomas Bopp in Arizona.

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Mr Hale told Time magazine in 1997: “As soon as I looked I saw a blurry object nearby. It was strange because I had watched M70 a few weeks earlier and the object hadn’t been there.”

Visible to the naked eye for about 18 months, the comet wowed stargazers in the 1990s.

Another space object called 95P/Chiron, orbiting between Saturn and Uranus, is technically larger at 130 miles, but scientists can’t decide if it’s a comet or a small planet.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/largest-comet-ever-weighing-500-26736342 Biggest Comet Ever Weighing 500 Trillion Tons Heads For Earth At 22,000 MPH - World News

Fry Electronics Team

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