In 10 years, Bernardinelli-Bernstein’s comet C / 2014 UN271 will fly past the Sun. Now there are bursts of activity. Scientists have also found out the exact parameters of the space object.
American scientists have found the size of a giant comet approaching the Sun. According to a recent study, its diameter reaches 150 km. For comparison, this is almost 7 times the diameter of the satellite Mars Phobos. Astronomers have also calculated the mass of comet C / 2014 UN271 – it turned out that it is almost 10 times larger than the mass of comet Hale – Bopp. It will be recalled that it was once called the “Great Comet of 1997”.
As a result, Bernardinelli-Bernstein’s comet is currently considered the largest comet and the largest body from the Oort cloud among all known. Scientists suggest that the current activity of the space object is due to the sublimation of ammonia particles and carbon dioxide ice. The reprinted publication of the work is available on the arXiv.org website and is awaiting expert evaluation and review.
Scientists believe that when the Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet approaches Earth, it becomes an impressive target for ground-based observations. At perihelion, it will be slightly dimmer than Titan, Saturn’s moon. Initially, C / 2014 UN271 was mistaken for a dwarf planet from the Oort cloud. However, it turned out to be a comet, the orbit of which is 600 thousand years.