Well, do a deep dive into the huge asteroid recently discovered by NASA heading toward our planet and how fatal it could be if it eventually collides with Earth interest in icy celestial bodies has increased significantly since the release of Adam McKays humorous oscar nominated movie, dont. Look up: the movie is about a group of scientists who find a planet killing comet traveling toward Earth, even though the movie was fictitious, could a space Rock like that lead to the end of life on Earth. As we know it are there any comets out there that we need to be aware of right now. Given this context, it might sound a little unsettling to learn that NASA just re evaluated a known specimen and discovered it to be 50 times larger than the normal comet one day, a tiny sliver of sunlight bounced off something that was falling toward our star. More than 2.7 billion miles or 4 billion, 345 million, 228 000 kilometers away from the Sun or 29 times further than the distance traveled by the Earth. It was something cold, unimaginably, old and bigger than life. A telescope in Chiles Atacama Desert shifted its gaze toward the heavens and took a massive picture of the Southern night sky around four hours later capturing glimpses of this reflected light in the early morning, hours of October 20th, 2014.. After this, it took nearly seven years before scientists realized that the unusual dot of light was actually a massive primordial Comet, possibly the largest Comet ever observed with current equipment.
The comet known as bernardinelli Bernstein was reported in June, and now scientists have combined all of the information they have available about it in a discovery study that has been submitted to the astrophysical journal letters, the Hubble Space Telescope of NASA has measured the dimensions of the Largest icy Comet nucleus that has ever been spotted its bigger than the state of Rhode Island with an estimated diameter of about 80 miles or 129 kilometers. The nucleus is roughly 50 times bigger than the center of the majority of observed, comets its thought to be 500 trillion times heavier than the average Comet discovered far closer to the Sun in mass or astonishingly 500 trillion tons, Comet C 2002 vq94, whose nucleus is thought To be 60 miles or 96 kilometers across previously held the record, the Lincoln near Earth asteroid research, linear team made the discovery of it in 2002 astronomers Gary Bernstein and Pedro bernardinelli found this Comet named C 2014. Un 271 in Old, Dark Energy survey. Photos taken at the Cerro talolo, inter american observatory in Chile. It was initially accidentally noticed in November 2010, when it was a staggering 3 billion miles or 4 billion, 828 million 32 000 kilometers from the Sun, or about the distance to Neptune, on average telescopes on the ground and in space have since conducted extensive research on it. The papers lead author, manto Hui of the Macau University of Science and Technology taipa. Macau said this is an amazing object, given how active it is when its still so far from the sun, we guessed the comet might be pretty big, but we needed the best day.
Data to confirm this, so he and his team took five pictures of the comet on January 8, 2022 using the Hubble telescope. The challenge in measuring this Comet was how to differentiate the solid nucleus from the huge Dusty coma enveloping it at this time. The comet is too far away for Hubble to resolve its nucleus visually. The Hubble observations, however, show a sharp Spike of light near the nucleuss location. Next Hui and his team created a computer model of the surrounding coma and modified it to fit the Hubble photos. The star like nucleus, was then revealed when the comets glow was subtracted Hui and his team matched the nucleuss brightness to earlier radio observations made by Chiles Atacama large millimeter sub millimeter array Alma. This combined data constrains the diameter and the reflectivity of the nucleus for well. Over over a million years, the comet has been moving in the direction of the Sun. The Earth Cloud, which is thought to be the home of billions of comets, is where it is coming from. The inner edge of the diffuse cloud is estimated to be between two thousand and five thousand times further away from the earth than the sun. Its outer border might extend at least a fourth of the way out to the Alpha Centauri system, which contains the nearest stars to our sun. The Earth clouds comets didnt actually form so far from the Sun. Rather, they were flung out of the solar system.
Billions of years ago by a gravitational pinball game between the enormous outer planets, while Jupiter and Saturns orbits were still forming the far flung Comets can only come back towards the Sun and planets. If a passing stars gravitational pull disturbs their orbits in its 3 million year. Long ellipse Optical orbit, the comet bernardinelli Bernstein, travels as far from the Sun as approximately half a light year. Currently, the comet is plummeting roughly perpendicular to the plane of our solar system and is less than 2 billion miles or 3 billion, 218 million 688 000 kilometers. From the Sun, temperatures are just about minus 348 degrees, Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius at that distance, but that temperature is warm enough for carbon monoxide to sublimate off the surface to produce the dusty coma. Additionally, the team was able to perform a more thorough calculation of comet BBs orbit. This asteroid is traveling around the solar system in a circular motion that is extraordinarily long at its furthest point roughly 1.5 million years ago. It was forty thousand four hundred Au away. The last time it swung, through our neighborhood, was about 3.5 million years ago, when it came within 18 a.u of the sun. However, it will be its closest so far on this inward Adventure. According to existing calculations, Comet BB will peak in 2031 at a distance of 10.9 Au, almost reaching the orbit of Saturn. Currently, the comet is traveling along Neptunes orbit. It will Scurry toward the inner solar system over the next 10 years.
The glare of the sun will evaporate more of its ices, making it effervescent and brighter it will travel within a billion miles of the sun nearly reaching Saturn before returning to the coldest darkest reaches of our Galactic neighborhood in 2031. In other words, bernardinelli Bernstein will get brighter over the next 10 years as it moves toward the inner solar system dive bombing the plane of the planets orbits From Below on January 21st, 2031. The comet will make its closest approach passing the Sun at a distance of approximately a billion miles or 169 million 344 000 kilometers slightly farther than Saturn on average. After that, it will start its protracted descent back into the Solar Systems outer regions where it will stay visible until at least the year 2040, if not decades longer so, should we be worried being over 10 times larger than the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. If an object of this size were to collide with Earth, it would undoubtedly end all Life as we know it. However, theres really nothing to be worried about near misses with newly discovered space. Pebbles are common, but even then the word near is relative. The term near is relative in space per terminology and often refers to anything that travels closer to Earth than our planet is to the sun, 93 million miles or 149 million, 668 992 kilometers or within, however, C 2014 un271 wont even be a close call at all. Although the comet is barreling toward the center of our solar system, its only expected to travel as near to the Sun as a billion miles or 1609 million 344 000 kilometers thats farther than the distance at which Saturn orbits our star.
Even then, this is not expected to happen until 2031.. Scientists are already formulating plans for how to send a spacecraft to bernardinelli Bernstein. There is currently no official mission planned, but if the worlds space agencies moved quickly enough, a mission may launch no later than 2029 and intercept the comet in 2033. In order to confirm how much the sun has altered, the comet researchers are also hard at work. Interpreting the comets earlier trips through the solar system, even though its unlikely that a spacecraft will be able to Rendezvous with the comet the fact that it was discovered while it was still 2 billion miles or 3 billion, 218 million. 688 000 kilometers away means that over the next 20 years, astronomers can focus their telescopes on it and observe it in stunning detail as it flares and then Fades.