A new comet called C/2014 UN271, or the Bernardinelli-Bernstein is moving toward Earth at 22,000 miles per hour. The comet has been discovered for a while and it has been monitored by NASA.
Discover our latest podcast
Bernardinelli-Bernstein moving toward Earth
Bernardinelli-Bernstein weighs 500 trillion tons and has a nucleus (core) of about 80 miles in diameter, which is roughly the distance between London and Stonehenge. The comet is currently travelling at 22,000 miles per hour and is on its way to the edge of the solar system.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has confirmed that Bernardinelli-Bernstein is the largest icy comet nucleus ever seen and recorded by scientists. It is 10 times the size of the meteorite that scientists believed wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Will Bernardinelli-Bernstein hit Earth?
NASA has assured us that this gigantic comet will never get closer than one billion miles away from the sun and won’t reach that point until 2031.
David Jewitt, a 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 solar system.
We've always suspected this comet had to be big because it is so bright at such a large distance. Now we confirm it is.