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    Largest comet EVER observed is coming our way

    The size of the largest comet ever observed has been established by NASA, with the Hubble Space Telescope estimating it to be 80 miles across, which is larger than the state of Rhode Island.

    According to NASA, the comet is traveling at a speed of 22,000 miles per hour through the universe, straight from the edge of the solar system and coming straight for Earth.

    There’s no need to fear just yet, because the Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet “will never get closer than 1 billion miles away from the Sun,” which is somewhere near Saturn. The comet will not even reach this position until 2031.

    According to professor David Jewitt, “this comet is the tip of an iceberg for many thousands of comets that are too faint to see in the more distant parts of the solar system.”

    He added: “We’ve always suspected this comet had to be big because it is so bright despite how far away it is. Now we confirm it is.”

    The finding of this 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 Oort Cloud, a comet-nesting area located somewhere near the solar system’s boundary.

    Bernardinelli-Bernstein sheds light on the size distribution of comets in the Oort Cloud, and thus their total mass.

    C/2002 VQ94, also known as the Hale-Bopp comet, was the previous record holder among comets, 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 were reading: Record-breaking Bernardinelli-Bernstein: Largest comet EVER observed is coming our way

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