The largest comet size has been established by NASA, with the Hubble Space Telescope estimating it to be 80 miles across, larger than the Rhode Island state.
According to NASA, the comet is traveling through the universe at a speed of 22,000 miles per hour, coming straight to Earth from the edge of the solar system.
There is still no need to fear, as the Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet “will never go more than 1 billion miles from the Sun”, which is somewhere near Saturn. The comet will not reach this position until 2031.
According to Professor David Jewit, “this comet is the tip of an iceberg for thousands of comets that are too obscure to see in the more distant part of the solar system.”
He added: “We have always suspected that this comet would have to be large because it is so bright no matter how far away it is. Now we are confirming that.”
The search for the new largest comet was announced in February on the preprint website arXiv. The astrophysical journal Letters has now published an article about it.
The new record-breaking comet is thought to have originated in the Wort Cloud, a comet-nesting area located somewhere near the boundary of the solar system.
Bernardinelli-Bernstein has focused on the distribution of comet sizes in the Wort Cloud and thus their total mass.
C / 2002 VQ94, also known as the Hell-Bop comet, was the previous record holder in the comet, with a diameter of 60 miles. According to NASA, it was discovered in 2002 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) mission.
Image Credit: NOIRLAB / NSF / AURA / J. DA Silva
You read: Record-breaking Bernardineli-Bernstein: The biggest comet is coming our way.